RACINE, Wis. — A jury in Racine County has convicted a man of fatally shooting a Milwaukee woman 21 years ago.
Miguel Cruz, 41, was convicted of first-degree intentional homicide with use of a dangerous weapon Friday afternoon after jurors deliberated for about four hours.
The body of Juanita Zdroik, a 39-year-old mother of two, was found by the side of a rural road near Raymond on Feb. 7, 2000. She had been shot in the head.
Investigators linked her murder to those of a father and son, Lamont Cole and Samuel Burns, who were found shot to death in an alley of the in Milwaukee that same day. Zdroik’s car was found torched nearby.
The case went cold for 10 years until a man in custody looking to make a deal told investigators he had witnessed Zdroik's murder, The Journal Times reported. He and a corroborating witness told detectives Zdroik was killed because she had witnessed the murders of Cole and Burns by a man she had been dating.
The two identified Cruz as the person who killed Zdroik. Cruz was arrested in 2017 following a multijurisdictional investigation.
Jose Sanchez was arrested in 2012 for the murder of Cole and Burns. He pleaded to two counts of felony murder/armed robbery and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
A sentencing hearing is scheduled April 22. The conviction carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison.