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Jury refuses death sentence for man who brutally murdered ex-girlfriend’s young daughter and left the knife in her neck

Miguel Ruiz Lobo (left) and Martha Guzman (right) (Miami Police Department)

Miguel Ruiz Lobo (left) and Martha Guzman (right) (Miami Police Department)

A Florida jury on Monday recommended life in prison without parole for a man who murdered his ex-girlfriend’s young daughter and attempted to stage it as suicide, according to WPLG.

Jurors last week convicted the defendant, Miguel Ruiz Lobo, 51, for what he did to Martha Guzman, 11, and returned this week to consider whether to recommend the death penalty or life in prison.

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Marisa Tinkler Mendez sentenced Ruiz Lobo to two consecutive life terms without parole following the jury’s decision.

During the trial, the child’s mother and sister testified to finding Martha grievously injured on the apartment floor of her home in Miami on June 22, 2014. Her wrists were slashed and a knife stuck out of her neck. She was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

When Ruiz Lobo was questioned, he told police the child was suicidal. Police soon learned that about five months before the murder, Martha’s mother had broken up with Ruiz Lobo while he was living in the home for being emotionally abusive and an alcoholic. The mother had filed for multiple restraining orders but they were all denied.

Ruiz Luiz blamed Martha for asking her mother to leave him, Miami-Dade Assistant State Attorney Laura Adams said.

“This was personal,” she said.

Ruiz Lobo showed up to the apartment in the Little Havana neighborhood and stabbed her to her death. Surveillance footage showed him arriving shortly before 10:30 a.m. and leaving at about 11 a.m. Martha’s wounds were too severe to pass as a suicide. Her wrists, cut to the bone, could not have supported stabbing herself in the neck.

“I just remember seeing this horrible — more than a stab wound on the left neck and wrist,” Dr. Nicholas Namias, a trauma surgeon, testified. “Suicide attempts with a knife are usually some clean single wound, not over and over or destructive.”

Martha appeared to have struggled during the attack — investigators found Ruiz Lobo’s DNA under her fingernails, and authorities noted he sustained scratches to his face and arms.

“I am very proud and extremely appreciative of the good work and tenacity exhibited by my prosecutors, Senior Trial Counsel Laura Adams and Division Chief Natalie Snyder, in this terribly challenging and tragic case,” State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement Tuesday.

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