BUFFALO, NY-- A judge has found an East Amherst mother guilty killing her eight-year-daughter.
The non-jury trial of Candace Cartagena lasted for several weeks before Judge Thomas Franczyk issued his verdict.
Bianca Cartagena's body was found by her grandfather in her mother's Amherst Home in 2010
Cartagena's defense has maintained that Bianca died of a heart condition.
There were tears in the courtroom as Cartagena's grandparents and aunts sat on the front row and listened to the guilty verdict rendered in this non-jury trial.
In his decision, Judge Franczyk wrote, "the court rejects the condition that Bianca Cartagena, a healthy, active, asymptomatic eight-year-old child just happened to die a natural death from a heart condition on the same day that her deeply troubled mother, in whose sole company she found herself, chose to take her own life."
As for how Bianca died, the Judge wrote that the "precise mechanism of death whether by compression of neck or abdomen...is not clear, what is clear...beyond a reasonable doubt is that Bianca Cartagena died from asphyxiation at the hands of her own mother."
The concluded "the only reasonable conclusion in this case is that her death was brought about intentionally."
Ruben Cartagena appeared in court for the first time since this trial got underway in early June. "It was too painful for me," he said. "I did feel I had to come here for the verdict," and he was pleased that his wx-wife was found guilty of murder. He said a "killer" is now off the streets.