Posted at: 02/07/2013 10:10 PM
Updated at: 02/07/2013 10:23 PM
By: Jill Galus, KOB Eyewitness News 4
The family of a baby girl who died after being left in a laundry basket has relentlessly fought for justice and Thursday, five years later, they got it.
A jury found her father, Robert Flores, a former Artesia High School quarterback, guilty in her death, for child abuse resulting in death and tampering with evidence.
KOB Eyewitness News 4 was the only local television station covering the trial.
The family broke into tears and hugs as the guilty verdict was read. It was the culmination of five years of hard work in seeking justice for an innocent child.
At four months old, Kalynne was just learning how to pose for the camera. Always with a headband and bow in her hair, she was her family's little princess.
"She was my little pride and joy, and one day I'll be with her again," Gracie Tesillo, Kalynne's grandmother, said.
Those who have fought relentlessly on her behalf held hands in prayer Thursday outside the courthouse after the guilty verdict was read.
"Finally our little Kalynne after five long years can rest in peace, we did this for you," Yvonne Granados, a relative, said.
"Everytime we went to court, it was just pain and more pain," Denise Garza, another relative, said.
Kalynne was found dead in a laundry basket inside a closet, where prosecutors said Flores left her while he went to buy beer, and then hours later, remembered where she was.
Kalynne's mother, Desiree Mondragon, described to the jury the moment she realized her daughter was dead.
"I was an emotional wreck, just crying hysterically and wishing that it was just a horrible dream," Mondragon said.
The defense argued throughout the trial, it was a horrible accident.
"Robert Flores has never, and I'll repeat myself, never, has he shown emotion during any of the trial," Garza said.
None of Flores' family members commented on his behalf.
Flores faces up to 21 years in prison.
A sentencing date is yet to be scheduled.
"We may never have answers to some of the things that we need, but at least we have this now," Garza said.