The Commission on Capital Cases was not funded in the FY 2011-2012 General Appropriations Act, and the Commission ceased operations on June 30, 2011. This site and the Commission website are being retained to provide access to historical materials.

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Disclaimer: The Commission on Capital Cases receives this information from a variety of sources. The site will be updated consistently as information is received and will be audited bi-annually. We make every attempt to ensure the accuracy of the information provided; however, the information should be verified by the applicable court prior to using it for legal or statistical purposes.


Last NameFirst NamePictureDC NumberAgencyCase Summary
CardonaAna 16218011th Circuit PDCase Summary

Last Action

DateCourtCase NumberLast Action
7/21/2009CC9048092Status Conference
9/14/2009CC9048092Trial hearing scheduled
10/14/2010CC9048092Resentenced to death

Current Attorney

Last NameFirst NameCityAddressZipPhoneEMail
GeorgiEdith B.Miami, FL1320 NW 14th St33125305/545-1600Email


Last NameCase NumberJudgeCountyCCRCOrder DateContract Date

Last Updated

2008-01-09 11:43:13.0

Case Summary
Direct Links

The Commission on Capital Cases updates this information regularly

The Commission on Capital Cases updates thisinformation regularly.  This information, however, is subject to changeand may not reflect the latest status of an inmate’s case and should not berelied on for statistical or legal purposes.


CARDONA, Ana Maria (H/F)

DC #   162180

DOB: 11/26/61


Eleventh Judicial Circuit, Dade County, Case #90-48092

Sentencing Judge: The Honorable David L. Tobin

Attorney, Trial: Lee Weissenborn –Special Public Defender

Attorney, Retrial: Edith Georgi –Assistant Public Defender

Attorney, Direct Appeal: Lee Weissenborn– Special Public Defender

Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Maria Perez-Garcia – CCRC-S


Date of Offense:          10/31/90

Date of Sentence:        04/01/92         


Circumstances of Offense:


Ana Maria Cardona was convicted and sentenced to death forthe long-standing abuse and murder of her three-year-old son Lazaro Figueroa.


The body of a severely beaten unidentified child was foundabandoned in the Miami Beach area on 11/02/90.  The boy was laterdetermined to be Lazaro Figueroa, the youngest childof Ana Marie Cardona.  Cardona was subsequently arrested in St. Cloud,Florida in connection with the murder.


The circumstances surrounding the abuse and murder of Lazaro were revealed during Cardona’s trial:  WhenCardona’s well-off, drug-dealing boyfriend was murdered,he left her a $100,000 estate, which she squandered in a matter ofmonths.  Cardona had two children from him, the youngest being Lazaro.  Cardona, penniless, left her children withfriends and family, and they were subsequently taken by the socialservices.  Eventually, the children were returned to their mother, and duringthis time, Cardona became romantically involved with OliviaGonzalez-Mendoza.  The two women hardly worked, and supported themselves,their children and their drug habits by shoplifting. 


After the children were returned to her, Cardona began horrificand frequent abuse of Lazaro, as she blamed him forher fall from wealth.  Lazaro was often tied tothe bed, locked in a closet, or left in the bathtub with extremely cold or hotwater.  When his body was found, it was covered in bruises and bedsores,and the child weighed only 18 pounds.

On 10/31/90, Cardona split Lazaro’shead open with a baseball bat, and when the child would not stop screaming, shebeat him to death.  Cardona and Gonzalez-Mendoza dumped the body in aMiami Beach neighborhood, fled to Orlando and were eventually apprehended inSt. Cloud.


Medical examiners testified that Lazarowas dying from the extreme abuse and neglect he suffered at the hands of hismother and her lover even before he was fatally beaten with the bat thatday.  Lazaro had endured numerous tortures priorto his death, suffering brain damage due to untreated meningitis, anemia,malnutrition and spinal cord damage.  


Additional Information:


Immigration and Naturalization Services in Miami have placeda detainer on Ana Maria Cardona.


Codefendant Information:


Olivia Gonzalez-Mendoza was convicted of Aggravated ChildAbuse and Second Degree Murder.  Gonzalez-Mendoza was sentenced to 15years and 40 years, respectively, for her part in the murder of Lazaro Figueroa. 


Trial Summary:


12/06/90         Defendant arrested.

01/11/91         Defendant indicted on:

                                   Count I:           First-Degree Murder

                                   Count II:           AggravatedChild Abuse

03/31/92         The jury found the defendant guilty on both counts.

03/31/92         Upon advisory sentencing, the jury, by an 8 to 4 majority, voted for the


04/01/92         The defendant was sentenced as followed:

                                   Count I:            First-DegreeMurder – Death

                                   Count II:           AggravatedChild Abuse – 15 years

07/09/10          Uponretrial, the jury again found the defendant guilty on both counts

10/14/10          Thejury recommended death by a vote of 7 to 5

10/14/10          Thedefendant was sentenced as followed:

                                   Count I:            First-DegreeMurder – Death

                                   Count II:           AggravatedChild Abuse – 15 years



Appeal Summary:


Florida Supreme Court - Direct Appeal

FSC #79,787

641 So. 2d 361 (Fla. 1994)


05/04/92         Appeal filed.

06/02/94         FSC affirmed the convictions and sentence of death.

08/31/94         Rehearing denied.

09/30/94         Mandate issued.


United States Supreme Court - Petition for Writ ofCertiorari

USSC #94-7096

513 U.S. 1160


11/29/94         Petition filed.

02/21/95         Petition denied.


State Circuit Court - 3.850 Motion

CC #90-48092


04/24/97         Motion filed.

05/26/00         Motion denied.


Florida Supreme Court - 3.850 Appeal

FSC #SC00-1366

826 So.2d 968


06/26/00         Appeal filed.

07/11/02         FSC reversed Cardona’s conviction and sentence and remanded for a new

trialdue to a Brady violation[1].

09/11/02         Appellee’s Motion for Rehearing denied.

10/11/02         Mandate issued.


Florida Supreme Court - Petition for Writ of HabeasCorpus

FSC #SC01-1056

826 So.2d 968


05/22/01         Petition filed.

07/11/02         FSC granted Cardona’s 3.850 Appeal, citing a Brady violation committed

bythe State.  Cardona’s conviction and sentence were reversed and her

Habeas Petitionwas denied as moot.


Factors Contributing to the Delay in the Imposition ofthe Sentence:


Cardona’s Motion to Vacate Judgment and Sentence (3.850)took over three years to reach a denial.  On 07/11/02, the Florida SupremeCourt granted Cardona’s 3.850 Appeal and remanded her case for a new trial.Cardona was released from the Florida Department of Corrections in 2002 and iscurrently incarcerated in the Women’s Annex in the Miami-Dade County Jail.


 Case Information:


Cardona filed a Direct Appeal in the Florida Supreme Courton 05/04/92.  In that appeal, Cardona argued that a limited juryinstruction should have been given in conjunction with the evidence of abusepresented to the jury, and that the court erred in refusing to considernon-statutory mitigating evidence.  Cardona also raised the issued that her      co-defendantreceived a lesser sentence for her part in the murder.  The FloridaSupreme Court affirmed the convictions and sentence of death on 06/02/94.


On 11/29/94, Cardona filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorariin the United States Supreme Court, which was denied on 02/21/95.


Next, on 03/24/97, Cardona filed a Motion to Vacate Judgmentand Sentence (3.850) in the State Circuit Court.  When that motion wasdenied on 05/26/00, Cardona steadfastly filed an appeal of that decision in theFlorida Supreme Court on 06/26/00.  On 07/11/02, the Florida Supreme Courtreversed Cardona’s conviction and sentence and remanded for a new trial citinga Brady violation committed by the State.  The Florida Supreme Court foundthat the State withheld material criminal investigative reports of interviewswith Olivia Gonzales-Mendoza, the co-defendant, which contradicted hertestimony against Cardona at trial.  By failing to disclose these reports,the State prevented the defense from impeaching Gonzales-Mendoza’s credibilityas the State’s key witness. 


Cardona filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus in theFlorida Supreme Court on 05/22/01.  On 07/11/02, Cardona’s conviction andsentence were reversed when the Florida Supreme Court granted her 3.850 Appeal. As such, her Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus was denied as moot.


On 07/09/10, Cardona was again found guilty on all counts.The jury recommended death by a vote of 7 to 5 and Cardona was sentenced todeath on 10/14/10.




12/21/01 – ew

12/28/01 – approved – ws

11/09/10 – updated – jjk


[1] Brady violation –failure to disclose exculpatory evidence that is material to the defense.