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Tucson woman convicted for starving 3-year-old son to death loses conviction appeal

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Raquel Barreras

TUCSON (KVOA) - The mother who was convicted for starving her 3-year-old son to death had her conviction appeal denied, according to court documents obtained by News 4 Tucson Tuesday.

Back in 2014, the skeletal remains of Raquel Barreras’ 3-year-old son, Roman were found by a landlord in a toy chest. Authorities say the chest was left behind when the family moved out of that home in Tucson.

Barreras and her husband, Martin Barreras were taken into custody on multiple felony charges in connection to their son’s death that year. According to court documents, the siblings of the 3-year-old told police that Roman was starved to death. The autopsy report revealed that starvation and neglect were listed as causes of death. However, the time of death could not be determined.

Raquel Barreras was found guilty of first-degree murder, abandonment and concealment of a dead body, and four counts of child abuse back on May 3, 2019.

She was sentenced to natural life without the possibility of parole for the charge of first-degree murder on July 22, 2012. She will also serve a consecutive 24 years in prison for intentional or knowing child abuse under circumstances likely to produce death or serious physical injury.

In an appeal filed last Thursday, Barreras and her attorneys argued that the court should not have admitted some evidence used in the trial.

The appeal also claimed that Barreras' sentences violated her right to be free from double jeopardy.

The court affirmed those convictions, rejecting both claims.

Martin Barreras was sentenced to life in prison in 2019 in connection to the 3-year-old's death.

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