A Peruvian nanny has been reconvicted of capital murder and sentenced to life imprisonment without parole in the 2005 beating death of a 14-month-old North Texas boy.
A Collin County jury deliberated almost six hours Friday before finding Ada Cuadros-Fernandez guilty. Since prosecutors weren't seeking the death penalty, the 33-year-old woman received an automatic life sentence.
Cuadros-Fernandez second trial in Collin County after an appeals court overturned the first guilty verdict against her.
"I am a very fair person and I know that I love this country. But the legal system, it really stinks," said Cuardos family friend Mariana Peterson.
Doctors said 14-month-old Kyle Lazarchik died from severe head injuries consistent with a fall from a 6-story building.
Cuadros-Fernandez maintained her innocence. She claimed the toddler accidentally hit his head on the door frame before he started vomiting, stopped breathing and died.
Investigators believe she smashed Kyle’s head against a kitchen cabinet door at the family’s home in McKinney in 2005. In 2006, a jury convicted her of the little boy’s murder. She was sentenced to life in prison.
The state's Fifth Court of Appeals in Dallas concluded that two errors were made during the first capital murder trial in 2006. It determined the defense team for Cuadros-Fernandez was not able to cross-examine a DNA analyst who prepared a report used at trial, violating a defendant's right to confront an accuser. An expert witness opinion rebutting the prosecution's theory of the case was wrongly excluded from trial, the court said.
Prosecutors decided it was better to retry the case than continue the appeals process. The state said the Lazarchik family supported that decision and hoped for a speedy hearing. The second trial began Monday morning and ended Friday afternoon.
"There are no wins in this, this is a tragedy in all proportion," said Cuardos family friend Bob Peterson. "I'm very sad for the family, very sad for both families."
The Lazarchik family did not speak to the media after the trial.
NBC 5's Kendra Lyn and Catherine Ross contributed to this report.