Juror reaction to guilty verdict for La Quinta woman

"It's going to be with me for a long time."

Pena Verdict

PALM DESERT, Calif. - Timothy Bench left the Larson Justice Center after what he calls the hardest two weeks of his life.
"Oh definitely. The most difficult thing. It's going to be with me for a long time," juror Timothy Bench said.  

The jury returned verdicts of guilty on all counts against Yolanda Guadalupe Pena in the brutal murder of her 3-year-old daughter. Pena faced one count each of murder, torture, assault causing the death of a child, and inflicting injury on a child. Prosecutors say Pena also abused an older daughter.

"I am relieved, elated. I feel like justice has finally been served," district attorney Lisa DiMaria said.  

Prosecutors say Pena's daughter, Delilah, suffered head trauma, 2nd degree burns to her body, and lost parts of three fingers before losing  her life.      

Pena sobbed as the verdicts were read in court.

"First time she really cried, except for the time she was being arrested," Bench said.

"This woman brutally tortured and murdered her three-year-old daughter and severely abused her other children. So her tears...she's crying for herself as far as I'm concerned," DiMaria said.  

The district attorney wasn't able to pursue the death penalty in the case. Pena could face life in prison when she's sentenced on August 6th.

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