The jury in Laia’s case was very strong in concluding that the girl’s mother, Vanesa Muñoz, and her stepfather, Cristian Lastanao, wanted to kill her and did nothing to prevent her last and painful 48 hours of life. another sentence cannot be expected. that permanent, reviewable prison. And there are no surprises, because this is the punishment that finally falls on both of them perpetrators of the murder with treachery and cruelty of a 2-year-old girldied on January 21, 2021 in Zaragoza, a victim of the cruel and unjustified mistreatment he continued to receive.
The sentence of the presiding magistrate, Alfonso Ballestín, emphasized the unanimous statement of the members of the jury, that They only disagreed to answer two of the questions on the broad subject of the verdict: numbers 15 and 23, whose statements they considered were finally confirmed with seven votes in favor and two against. At first, they were asked whether the defendant, despite the obvious symptoms of pain in the minor, agreed not to notify the emergency medical services until the last moment, when Laia “became immobilized and can’t keep your head.” Another question that is approved by the majority and is not unified is referring to intent to kill.
The president of the Provincial Court, who oversees the management of the trial and sentencing, not only emphasizes the quorum of the jury, but also his strength when it comes to motivating each of its decisions. To do this, remember, they relied above all on two pieces of evidence: on the one hand, the autopsy performed by forensic experts Salvador Baena and José Manuel Arredondo; and on the other hand, the declaration of elder sister of the deceased, who was 9 years old when the events occurred. “They both hit him”the minor voluntarily stated during an interview that was recorded as pre-constituted evidence so as not to relive his particular trauma at trial.
During the hearing, the accused blamed each other for the terrible outcome. However, the jury did not believe any of them. To Vanesa Muñoz, because, as the sentence shows, “suffered from several relevant contradictions“. Cristian Lastanao partially recognized the facts during the hearing, since He admitted to hitting Laia at one point, as well as putting pepper in her mouth. He tried to justify himself and assured that he did it as a warning, so that the girl’s mother would not be subjected to heavier punishments. But the popular court did not consider that it was proven that this was the case and gave more value to the statements of Laia’s sister, in the sense that the mother and the stepfather mistreated her.
Treachery and cruelty
Specialists from the Institute of Legal Medicine of Aragon (IMLA) noticed up to 101 bruises on the small body of the girl, who weighed only 15 kilos. And they concluded that it was one of those powerful blows that severed his duodenum, an “extremely painful” injury that left him in pain for two days and caused acute peritonitis who sacrificed his life. The sentence says that treachery and brutality were involved in this murder, because the victim was completely defenseless against her attackers, who “intentionally and unnecessarily” increased her suffering by not calling 112 .
The forensic expert evidence also confirmed that the convicts now made Laia eat cocaine, cannabis, paracetamol, antidepressants and hypnotics.
Those convicted lose their parental rights
Granted the sad end of little Laia His other three siblings – aged 9, 5 and 1 – survived the inferno that became the Picarral apartment. where the family lives. However, what happened also imposed a distance, which may not be bridged, between the minors. Because each of them has a different destiny.
The old man had a problem with that He is trying to recover in a special center of the Generalitat of Catalonia, who has his guardianship. The boy that Vanesa Muñoz had with her ex-husband is now in the care of his biological father, while the youngest of the brothers – also a boy and son of the convicted – is currently with a family.
The conviction of the Court of Zaragoza also obliges the accused to pay each of Laia’s siblings 90,000 euros. The biological father of the deceased – who is the private prosecutor in the process – and his maternal grandmother are also recognized as having the right to financial compensation of 50,000 euros.
Everything indicates that Vanesa Muñoz and Cristian Lastanao will be declared insolvent, which will make it difficult for them to face civil liability. However, as victims of a violent crime, lawyers for those who have been harmed They may request compensation from the State.
Apart from the economic issue, the conviction of killing little Laia also means that her mother and stepfather will be loss of parental authority over the rest of his children. The private accusations sought to ban the accused from seeing their children, but the presiding judge ignored the request.