Jury Deliberations Begin in Cruz Trial

By: Garrett Wymer Email
By: Garrett Wymer Email

WINCHESTER, Va. (WHSV) -- Wednesday marked day three in the murder trial for Sherry Cruz.

The Winchester mother is accused of setting a fire that killed one of her children.

The judge has instructed the jury, that after a quick break, they are to retire to the jury chambers to organize and start beginning to think about some of the questions facing them in his case.

The judge has then instructed them to stop at 6 p.m. and if they do not come to a decision, the deliberations will resume at 9 a.m. Thursday.

The defense began the morning calling six witnesses, introducing the possibility that a cigarette accidentally causing the fire.

After those witnesses, the prosecution gave its closing arguments, for a little more than an hour, setting this up as a case of despair, desperation and disregard.

Some family members became upset when the prosecution showed pictures of Cruz and her burns from the fire, as well as pictures of two-year-old Christian Cruz, who died in the fire.

The defense, with its short closing statement, said that Christian Cruz's death should not cloud the jurors judgment when it comes to making a decision in this case.

The jury will decide whether or not Cruz is guilty of arson, first-degree murder, felony child abuse and neglect and felony homicide.

The first-degree murder charge is tied in with the arson charge, meaning for Sherry to be convicted, the jury has to find that Christian Cruz was killed and that it happened in that active arson.

The felony homicide charge is tied to the child abuse and neglect charge.

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