Nearly nine years after an 11-year-old’s brutal death, jury selection continued Tuesday in the trial of Miguel Ruiz Lobo, the man accused of fatally stabbing her.
Ruiz Lobo, then 42, is accused of killing Martha Guzman on June 22, 2014.
Police said Ruiz Lobo, who was an ex-boyfriend of Guzman’s mother, used a hidden key to enter the girl’s Little Havana apartment while she was home alone. Officials said Guzman slashed the girl’s wrists to make it look like she killed herself.
They said he did it because the girl convinced her mother to break up with him.
During jury selection Tuesday, the state and defense questioned potential jurors about their opinions on the death penalty and whether they may be able to impose it should they find the now-51-year-old guilty.
Attorneys revealed the state will argue that Ruiz Lobo deserves to die because of the heinous and cruel nature of the crime, since his alleged victim was a young child, and since he also burglarized the home.
The defense mentioned that they may use Ruiz Lobo’s childhood living in poverty as a reason to spare his life.
The state is expected to present surveillance video showing Ruiz Lobo entering the home, as well as Guzman’s DNA, which was found under his fingernails.
Jury selection is expected to end on Monday. Opening statements in the trial were set to begin on April 3.