Arizona jury gets case of man accused of killing teen girl

A central Arizona jury began deliberations on the afternoon of Nov. 12 in a murder trial involving a man accused in the 1997 death of his ex-girlfriend and his unborn child.

Marisol Gonzalez was 17 when she was fatally shot in a Cottonwood alley in March 1997, the day she was scheduled to be induced to deliver the boy she named Andrew.

Cecilio Cruz is charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter.

Prosecutors said Cruz, who was indicted in the case in 2014, could face more than 40 years in prison if convicted on both charges.

The state rested its case Nov. 10 after calling about two dozen witnesses including Gonzalez’s family, law enforcement officials who investigated the case, neighbors and experts who analyzed evidence.

Defense attorney Alex D. Gonzalez argued that the prosecutor had not produced substantial evidence to warrant a conviction.

Authorities have said all along that the evidence is circumstantial. There are no eyewitnesses to the shooting, Cruz didn’t confess, the weapon never was found, and no DNA or physical evidence ties Cruz to the crime.

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