A jury has convicted a Bakersfield couple of second degree murder in the death of their three-year-old niece and foster daughter.
Prosecutors argued Alberto Garcia and Carla Torres beat Serenity Gandara several times across the head and stomach then fled to Mexico with their biological kids. Jury foreperson Cynthia Kalaitzidis says Garcia and Torres were found guilty because of the pages of documented abuse of the girl and the impression the couple gave that they were insincere.
The couple was facing first degree murder charges, but Kalaitzidis says jurors could not decide which person killed Serenity. The pair was also found guilty of physically abusing Serenity and her older brother Isaiah.
Sentencing is May 11.