Melissa Lucio had a daughter, who died recently, and Mariah’s death cause was thought to be her mother’s beating.
It turns out that her daughter Mariah died of internal injuries caused by an accidental fall, not from her mother’s beating.
Malissa is a Hispanic American woman who has been on death row for the murder of her daughter for more than a decade, she is the first Hispanic woman to be sentenced to death.
Melissa’s intriguing case did not garner much media notice until the production of a documentary called The State of Texas Vs. Melissa.
A Mexican American mother whom they suspected of murdering her two-year-old child was interrogated by five Cameron County, Texas, police officers, on February 15, 2007
Melissa Lucio was in a precarious situation. She was pregnant with twins and was in shock and despair.
Mariah, her youngest child, had collapsed and been pronounced dead just two hours before.
The cops didn’t let the suspect’s flaws get in the investigation. They interrogated Lucio for nearly six hours, late into the night, using the famed “Reid Technique,” a contentious interrogation technique that has led to several erroneous convictions in the United States.
They said they had “a lot of evidence” that she was to blame for the girl’s death, who forced her to look at photos of her corpse.
Then they quickly switched tone, as the Reid technique dictates. They gently persuaded the hispanic women that if she admitted to killing the toddler, she would be able to “put this to rest.”
Not only that, Lucio protested her innocence at least 100 times that night.
A growing body of evidence, was never heard at trial and some purposefully concealed by prosecutors, points to a very different conclusion where Mariah died of internal injuries caused by an accidental fall, not from her mother’s beating was resulted.
The mother Melissa Lucio was found guilty of capital murder despite the defense’s arguments and was later sentenced to death in 2008.
During the trial, Cameron County District Attorney Armando Villalobos, who was running for re-election and is now serving a 13-year federal prison sentence for bribery as well as extortion, portrayed Lucio’s taped words from her questioning as a confession.
Dr. Norma J. Farley, a pathologist, testified that the child’s postmortem proved that she did not die from sliding down steps and that her injuries were consistent with blunt-force trauma.
In addition, according to court filings, the emergency department physician stated that he had never encountered a case of child abuse as harmful as Mariah’s.
According to Lucio’s defense, Mariah’s injuries were caused by her tumbling down the stairs, and Lucio’s psychological dysfunction contributed to her contradictory accounts to authorities.