Murder trial may end Monday

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Luz Cisneros' attorneys questioned a number of the accused murderer's friends and family Friday as part of their effort to convince jurors that Cisneros was a loving mother who became so distraught by a failing romantic relationship that she "snapped" and killed her 1-year-old daughter.

It remains unclear whether Cisneros will take the stand.

Cisneros, 34, is accused of first-degree murder for the Sept. 6, 2007, death of her daughter, Brianna Simon. If convicted, she faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.

In the weeks leading up to Brianna's death, Cisneros was planning a new life for them in Wisconsin, her sister-in-law Raquel Simon testified Friday through a translator.

"I just know that she had her suitcases packed two days before," she said.

Prosecutors Elizabeth Oldham and Carl Stahl rested their case Friday afternoon after three days of testimony from law enforcement and medical personnel.

Evidence introduced by the prosecution includes photographs taken at the Walton Pond apartment where Cisneros is said to have killed her daughter, a nearly four-hour recording of her subsequent interrogation at the Steamboat Springs Police Department, and the 911 call made by the baby's father, Isaias Simon.

Isaias Simon took the stand again Friday, reiterating that despite Cisneros' frequent threats to harm herself and her child in the weeks before Brianna's death, he never thought she would follow through with them because she was such a loving mother.

On Sept. 6, 2007, "she was out of her mind," Isaias Simon testified Friday.

Prosecutors have maintained that Cisneros' threats to harm Brianna demonstrate her longstanding intent to kill her child, and that she did so to get back at her husband for their failing relationship.

The trial will resume at 8 a.m. Monday in Routt County District Court. The case likely will be turned over to the jury Monday if Cisneros decides not to testify. If she takes the stand, the trial is expected to last through Tuesday.

- To reach Melinda Dudley, call 871-4203

or e-mail mdudley@steamboatpilot.com

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