Nixzmary's mom appears in court as murder trial nears

The search for justice in the Nixzmary Brown case continued Wednesday with her mother's pretrial hearing.

Nixzaliz Santiago briefly appeared at state Supreme Court in Brooklyn. The judge said she hopes to start Santiago's murder trial by June at the latest.Santiago is accused in the January 2006 beating death of the 7-year-old victim, her daughter, in her Bedford-Stuyvesant apartment. Brown was malnourished and had been chronically absent from school.A jury found the girl's stepfather, Cesar Rodriguez, guilty of manslaughter and other charges March 18. However, he was found not guilty of murder. The defense had unsuccessfully tried to pin Brown's death on her mother.Santiago's attorney, Sammy Sanchez, still believes his client is innocent. "There's a road map, DNA, statements that lead to one person in this case and that person is Cesar Rodriguez," Sanchez said.Santiago will return to court for another pretrial hearing April 10. She faces 25 years to life in prison if she's convicted of murder.

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