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Former inmates say defendant's lover confessed to killing 'Baby Lollipops' in 1990

Ana Maria Cardona also claims lover was responsible for 3-year-old's death

MIAMI – Testimony resumed Tuesday in the retrial of a mother accused of killing her young son, who was known to the world as "Baby Lollipops," in 1990.

Ana Maria Cardona was emotional the day before as she testified for the first time, claiming that it was her former lover, Olivia Gonzalez, who killed her 3-year-old son, Lazaro Figueroa.

During Tuesday's testimony, jurors heard from a former inmate who served time in prison with Gonzalez.

Odalys Fernandez claimed that Gonzalez had confessed to killing the young boy.

"Maritza called her a baby killer, and Olivia said, 'Yes, if I hit the baby with the bat and that was the killer, then I killed the baby and I'll kill yours,'" Fernandez said. 

Fernandez said this was not the first time she heard Olivia confess to killing Lazaro. 

A second former inmate also took the stand Tuesday with a similar story.

"We were talking about the Lollipops case and Olivia went off. She said, 'I hit him with a bat. So what? So what?'" the woman said. 

Lazaro's body was discovered in the bushes of a Miami Beach home in November 1990. He had been badly beaten and weighed just 18 pounds.  

Police initially couldn't identify the boy, calling him "Baby Lollipops" because of a design on his T-shirt.

"I never thought that Olivia would end up killing my son," Cardona said on Monday. "I trusted her and never suspected that she would try to betray me." 

Prosecutors countered Cardona's testimony that she wasn't involved in her son's death by showing photos of Cardona with Gonzalez on vacation after the boy was killed.

On Tuesday, Cardona again insisted that Gonzalez was abusive to her and her son.

"She abused all of us," she said. 

Two previous convictions and death sentences were tossed out by the Florida Supreme Court. The most recent decision in February 2016 came after the justices deemed a new trial was necessary because of the prosecutor's "numerous improper closing arguments" that "repeatedly crossed the line."

Cardona was initially convicted and sentenced to death in 1992, but the Supreme Court overturned the conviction because prosecutors failed to disclose key evidence to the defense.

Prosecutors have decided against seeking the death penalty this time.


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