A Florida man now faces the death penalty after a jury convicted him of murdering his ex-girlfriend’s 11-year-old daughter. Authorities said Miguel Ruiz Lobo, 51, tried to make others believe young Martha Guzman died by suicide because she had a history of cutting, but his DNA was under her fingernails, indicating she was struggling , when he killed her.
Guzman was stabbed in the throat and had his wrists cut. Detectives determined that because of her wrist injuries, there was no way she could have stabbed herself in the throat. Lobo was found with scratches on his face and arms.
“I am very grateful for the good work that prosecutors Laura Adams and Natalie Snyder have done in this terribly challenging and tragic case,” said Miami-Dade State’s Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. “It is so hard to fathom, and so very heartbreaking to learn how much young Martha suffered before she was brutally killed by someone she should have been able to trust to protect her. Hopefully this sentence has given some degree of justice to her beloved mother.”
Guzman’s mother reportedly filed multiple restraining orders against Lobo in the months leading up to her daughter’s death, but each was denied. Detectives believe Lobo killed Guzman because the young girl allegedly convinced her mother to break up with Lobo.
Her mother found her dead in their home in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami, Florida on June 22, 2014. Guzman’s mother found her with a knife to her throat. Another of the mother’s children, a 3-year-old, was inside the home when Guzman was killed. Initially, the defendant claimed he had not seen the victim for days before her death, but surveillance footage from a neighbor placed him at the house for about half an hour on the day of the murder.
Vanessa Bein and Christina Bubba contributed to this report.
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