Yvonne Gonzales will serve 99 years in prison for the murder of 4-year-old Alyrah Sanchez, a Lubbock jury decided Thursday.
“There’s been a lot of craziness going on and for all of us to pull together for Alyrah so she got justice today was a goal that was achieved all the way around,” Alyrah’s Aunt Danielle Trigo said. “Because they went around and did their jobs and got justice for our baby.”
A judge accepted Gonzales’ guilty plea on May 17.
In closing arguments Thursday morning, assistant district attorney Barron Slack asked the jury to sentence Gonzales to life in prison. The defense requested jurors to “look deep” into the circumstances of the case and give her a 30-year sentence.
Sanchez died Nov. 18, 2015, of blunt force trauma, prosecutors said. Gonzales, who was dating Sanchez’s biological father, initially told police Sanchez choked on food and stopped breathing.
However, prosecutors said the 4-year-old had numerous injuries inconsistent with choking. Prosecutors said there was “blow after blow after blow.”
“The world is just so cold and it’s coming right up in your face,” Trigo said. “Because this woman came up and did this to someone that you love. It just kills this innocence, takes this light away of your life.”
The defense told jurors Gonzales was “overwhelmed and snapped.” Gonzales’ attorney said she was living with her boyfriend, his daughter and her own daughter at the time of the murder.
Prosecutors showed Lubbock Police Department video of Gonzales in the police station interview room after Sanchez died. They argued Gonzales showed no remorse and “her concern that day was for herself.”
On Tuesday, Sanchez’s father testified the victim was a little girl who loved animals and being outside. If he could use one word to describe his daughter, it would be “loving.”
Sanchez was a “sparkle of joy with a smile and personality that will live on,” the prosecution said.
“Of course we’re disappointed with the 99 years and we’ll probably file an appeal,” Gonzales’ Defense Attorney Charles Chambers said.
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