Winchester Mother Sentenced to 36 Years in Murder, Arson Case

- WINCHESTER, Va. - A Winchester mother, Sherry Cruz, was found guilty on all counts Thursday morning and sentenced to serve 36 years in prison inside the courthouse in connection to the death of her two-year-old son, Christian. 

Cruz was charged with killing her son in a house fire reported last year. 

On Thursday morning, it took the jury about an hour to deliberate and sentence Cruz to a total of 36 years in prison for the murder of her son, arson, and four counts of felony child abuse. She was facing a maximum sentence of life. 

While the prosecution is happy with the verdict, they aren't celebrating. After the trial, Sherry Cruz's mother told WHAG "that she lost both babies," her daughter and her grandchild Thursday. 

In the his closing arguments, Alexander Iden, the lead commonwealth attorney, told the jury that Cruz is a danger to society. He pointed at Cruz, who has worn the same outfit everyday in court, and said "Those are crocodile tears, she's crying for herself not Christian."

The defense begged the jury to give her the minimum sentenced of 25 years in prison, and asked for compassion. 

"I think the jury is sending a message. They had the opportunity to sentenced a minimum of 25 years, and they made it more than that. That it was 36 years. I appreciate that, and I support that and I think it's appropriate under these circumstances," said Iden. 

The judge is scheduled to formally sentence Cruz on May 20, 2014. We will keep you updated on the outcome. 

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