TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - The jury in Raquel Barreras’ murder and child abuse trial has found her guilty on one count each of child abuse and murder in the death of her son 3-year-old son Roman. She will find out her sentence on July 22.
Barreras and her husband were accused of starving their 3-year-old son to death, stuffing his body in a plastic toy box and leaving it at a rental home when the family moved in 2014.
Raquel Barreras’ trial began last month and finally went to the jury early Friday morning.
Martin Barreras, Raquel’s husband, is facing the same charges. He rejected a plea deal April 26 and will go to trial on Aug. 6.
For Raquel’s trial, the prosecution painted a picture of a mother who knowingly starved her son Roman to death. They allege she would not allow her other four children to feed or care for Roman, while keeping him locked inside a storage closet separate from the rest of the house.
“What he endured is child abuse. what he endured at her hands and what led to his death is murder,” prosecutors said.
The defense had claimed child protective services and Martin are to blame for Roman’s death. They said Raquel was a drug addict who was unaware of the medical issues that could have caused Roman’s death. The defense asked the jury to think logically, without emotion.
Investigators said the Barreras family left Roman’s body behind when they moved out of a rental home near West Irvington Road and South 12th Avenue.
Authorities said the home had been vacant for a while and the landlord was cleaning up the property when he found the boy’s remains.