A 20-year-old woman and her live-in boyfriend were convicted Wednesday of second-degree murder, child abuse and conspiracy in connection with the death of the woman's 3-year-old daughter last year.
Simona Demery and Jeffery Jones, 25, were charged with 10 felony counts after Alicia Versluis was reported missing in May 2000. On the witness stand in Pomona Superior Court, both defendants admitted that the child died but denied responsibility for her death. The girl's body has not been found.
Jones was acquitted of the most serious charge of assault on a child resulting in death, but was convicted on the remaining nine counts. Demery was convicted of all 10. Each faces 30 years to life in prison and will be sentenced Aug. 21.
"I suppose [the jurors] felt Jeffery was just a tad less involved than Simona," Demery's public defender, Michael Coghlan, said.
Demery was clutching a Bible and smiling as she entered court Wednesday afternoon. But as the verdicts were announced she put her head in her hands and her eyes filled with tears.