Jury convicts man accused of killing 11-year-old girl in Miami

MIAMI – A jury in Miami-Dade County convicted a 51-year-old man on Friday who was on trial for killing his ex-girlfriend’s daughter nearly nine years ago in Miami.

Prosecutors relied mostly on DNA evidence and surveillance video to make their case against Miguel Ruiz Lobo, who could face the death penalty.

The DNA evidence: The skin under Martha Guzman’s green-painted fingernails indicated that she had fought back on June 22, 2014, and by scratching her killer she had helped investigators to identify him as a suspect, according to prosecutors.

Detectives said Martha Guzman was 11 years old when her mother's ex-boyfriend killed her in 2014 in Miami. (Courtesy photo)

The surveillance video: Prosecutors believe it took Ruiz Lobo about 30 minutes to kill Martha. They showed the jury a video showing Ruiz Lobo arriving at the apartment in Miami’s Little Havana shortly before 10:30 a.m., and leaving at about 11 a.m.

Ruiz Lobo’s trial began on April 3 with emotional testimony that included Martha’s mother and sister who found her dead with a knife sticking out of her neck. Prosecutors accused Ruiz Lobo of slashing Martha’s wrists and stabbing her in the neck while attempting to stage a suicide at the scene of the murder.

The jury started deliberating soon after the prosecution and the defense rested their case, and Ruiz Lobo announced he would testify in his defense on April 12.

Ruiz Lobo has been in the custody of Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation since July 21, 2014. Records show he was held without bond on charges of first-degree murder, burglary of an occupied dwelling, and sexual battery on a minor by an adult.

Prosecutors later dropped the sexual battery charge. The jury found him guilty of murder and burglary. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Marisa Tinkler Mendez, who is presiding over the case, had yet to announce when his sentencing will be.

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About the Authors:

Liane Morejon is an Emmy-winning reporter who joined the Local 10 News family in January 2010. Born and raised in Coral Gables, Liane has a unique perspective on covering news in her own backyard.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.