A jury has found a Miami man guilty of murder in the 2014 killing of an 11-year-old girl that had been made to look like a suicide.
Miguel Ruiz Lobo, 51, was convicted on first-degree murder and burglary charges Friday in the death of Martha Guzman. The jury rendered the verdict after around eight hours of deliberations that began Thursday. Ruiz Lobo now faces the death penalty at sentencing.
Lobo Told Investigators Guzman was Suicidal, Had a History of Cutting Herself
On June 22, 2014,Guzman was found in her mother's apartment in Miami, with her neck slashed and her wrists cut so deep that her hands almost came off.
Lobo told police Guzman killed herself because she was suicidal and had a history of cutting. However, during the trial experts testified about how the injuries were not self-inflicted.
Miami-Dade Chief Medical Examiner explained to the jury Guzman's throat was stabbed multiple times, knife scrapes were found around her four-foot body, and her wrist was cut deep into the bone. Investigators also found his DNA under her fingernails, indicating that she struggled as he killed her.
Originally, the defendant claimed that he had not seen the victim for days before her death, but surveillance footage from a neighbor placed him at the house for about a half-hour on the day of the murder.
Guzman Killed by Lobo Over Break-Up with Her Mother
Guzman's mother reportedly filed several restraining orders against Lobo in the months leading up to her daughter's death, but each of these were denied. Detectives believe Lobo killed Guzman because the young girl allegedly convinced her mother to break up with Lobo.
"I am very appreciative of the good work by prosecutors Laura Adams and Natalie Snyder on this terribly challenging and tragic case," Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said. "It is so difficult to fathom, and so very heartbreaking to learn, how much young Martha suffered before being brutally killed by someone whom she should have been able to trust to protect her. Hopefully, this verdict has provided some measure of justice to her beloved mother."