Candace Cartagena Gets 25 Years to Life for Murder
Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - Candice Cartegena was sentenced 25 years to life in prison for the murder of her eight year old daughter Bianca.
Judge Thomas Franczyk gave the 35 year old to the maximum sentence. Cartagena suffocated her daughter in November on 2010, apparently because she was angry that Bianca chose to spend Thanksgiving with her estranged husband Ruben instead of her.
After Cartagena's conviction, Ruben, who had not been present during the trial because he said it was too emotional, said that justice was served. "It was mixed emotions, I was happy for the verdict but nothing is going to bring back my daughter," Ruben said. "(Candace) was the only one in the house and my daughter was dead. It was a no-brainer that she had done it."
During her sentencing statement, Cartagena rambled telling memories and making little sense.
Cartagena's lawyers presented evidence in the trial suggesting the eight year old girl died of natural causes. District Attorney Frank Sedita said that was clearly not the case.
"The only cause and matter of death in this case could have been homicidal and nothing else," Sedita said. "No amount of circumstantial evidence could have (proved) that alone, you needed scientific, forensic proof. Once you had that proof in the hands of these prosecutors it was devastating."
Sedita praised the testimony of forensic expert Kym Collins. "This case does not get over the hump but for the forensic evidence. We went out and we tried to find the best and most candid, most honest forensic pathologist with the best reputation in this country - it's not cheap, by the way - and we did so, and her testimony was absolutely compelling."