FORT WORTH - Patricia Flores sat through another day of testimony Wednesday with her head facing down.
Jurors started deliberating her sentencing fate around 2:30 p.m. They stopped deliberations just before 6 p.m. and will return Thursday. Flores faces anywhere between five years and life in prison for the death of her 2-year-old grandson. The 44-year-old pleaded guilty to felony murder of the toddler.
It was just over a year ago that the boy was severely burned by scalding hot water in a bathtub. Prosecutors say Flores waited six days to get him help.
Before closing arguments, jurors heard testimony from two witnesses, including the burn unit director at Parkland and a 16-year-old relative of Flores’ who was also living with her at the time of the incident.
Jurors were fixated on prosecutor Kelly Maedor during her closing arguments. She also showed graphic photos of the burn injuries.
“To put her 2-year-old grandson in a tub of hot, boiling water and to hold him there until the skin fell off his legs, fell off his feet, and fell off his hands and off his genitals,” she said. “What is important is that she (Flores) never walks free again for what she did to that little boy.”
Flores covered her eyes and stifled tears while prosecutors pleaded with the jury to give her the maximum punishment -- life in prison.
“But this is the problem with her, is you don’t see her coming,” prosecutor Melinda Westmoreland said. “Not in a million years do you see someone like this coming. This woman was supposed to protect him, take care of him, save him from the parents who didn’t want him. And what does she do? She killed him.”
Flores’ defense attorney asked jurors to vote with their conscience and not give Flores anything more than a decade in prison.
“There’s no question that everything about this case from beginning to end is a tragedy. And I think the fact that she doesn’t have any criminal history perhaps makes it all the more a tragedy,” defense attorney Jeff Linick said. “Each one of you, the decision is yours, it is on your conscience ultimately, you have to live with the decision and the verdict that you reach.”
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