TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Raquel Marcella Barreras is currently serving a natural life sentence for the death of her three-year-old son Roman Barreras.
In 2019, a Pima County jury convicted her of first-degree murder, abandonment, concealment of a dead body and four counts of child abuse. Court documents show Barreras and her husband Martin Barreras left the remains of the child inside a toybox and moved from the house.
Barreras appealed stating that certain evidence admitted aggravated her sentence. Specifically, she argued, that testimony that she isolated Roman in a “covered playpen in the spare concrete laundry room” and "beat him with a broomstick" was inadmissible because it was irrelevant and substantially outweighed by a danger of unfair prejudice.
She also argued against double jeopardy. Here is an excerpt from the Court filing: Barreras asserts the trial court violated her Sixth Amendment constitutional right by aggravating her sentences without a proper jury finding and violated her right against double jeopardy by imposing consecutive sentences for first-degree murder and child abuse.
On Friday, presiding Judge Karl Eppidge with the Court Appeals Arizona, Division 2, issued the decision of the court: In Arizona, if no aggravators have been proven, the presumptive sentence is the statutory maximum. Dunbar, 249 Ariz.
As for the double jeopardy claim, the court ruled: the double jeopardy claim fails.
Roman Barreras' father, Martin Barreras, is also serving natural life for his role in the death.