Cisneros guilty of first-degree murder

Woman receives life in prison for killing her 1-year-old daughter a year ago

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— A jury found Luz Cisneros, 34, guilty of first-degree murder this afternoon for the Sept. 6, 2007, death of her 1-year-old daughter, Brianna Simon. Judge Michael O'Hara sentenced her to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The 12-member jury - nine men and three women - deliberated for approximately five hours Tuesday before delivering their unanimous guilty verdict at about 4:30 p.m. in Routt County District Court. Cisneros' trial began Sept. 8.

Cisneros, a legal resident alien originally from Mexico, sat stoically while her verdict was read and as she was sentenced Tuesday afternoon. Just before she was remanded into custody, she shared an embrace with public defender Sheryl Uhlmann, and told her: "It's OK."

The defense had long acknowledged that Cisneros did indeed kill her daughter, but argued throughout her trial that she was not guilty of first-degree murder because she never intended to harm Brianna.

Prosecutors argued that Cisneros demonstrated her intent to kill her child by repeatedly threatening to do so in the weeks leading up to her death - assertions the jury deemed credible in rendering their verdict.

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