A Lewis County jury has convicted Lena Lunsford on all four counts involving the death of her then 3-year-old daughter, Aliayah.
Lunsford was found guilty of one count of murder of a child by parent, guardian or custodian or other person by refusal or failure to provide necessities, one count of the death of a child by a parent, guardian or custodian or other person by child abuse, one count of child abuse resulting in injury, and one count of concealment of deceased human body.
The jury of 10 women and two men deliberated for only two hours before returning with the verdict.
Defense attorneys had asked the jury to let the lack of physical evidence lead them to a not-guilty verdict, but prosecutors said the eyewitness testimony of Lunsford’s two daughters was strong enough, suggesting to the jury that successfully concealing a dead body should not be enough to acquit someone of the charge.
Members of Aliayah’s wider family have also been watching the investigation since it began in September 2011, and they say they’re glad to see the final result, and to be able to begin the process of moving on.
“Finally justice. I knew in my heart the whole time. It just, I had a feeling. It just, you don’t go around with no emotion that your baby’s missing,” said Tina Smith, relative.
The jury will continue the mercy phase of the trial Tuesday.
Stay with 12 News for the latest updates on this trial.