Daughter found guilty of murdering mother
A daughter found guilty of murdering her mother two decades ago has wiped away tears as she continued to deny strangling and stabbing the older woman to death.
"I don't understand, I didn't do it," Isabela Carolina Camelo-Gomez said to her legal counsel in the NSW Supreme Court on Wednesday.
As the 47-year-old was taken into custody she continued her disbelief at the jury's verdict.
"The justice system gets everything wrong."
Following one week of deliberation, the jury found Camelo-Gomez guilty of murdering Irene Jones in her Sydney home.
On the evening of November 2, 2001, the then-27-year-old drove home with her mother following a belated birthday dinner for Ms Jones.
Camelo-Gomez then strangled the 56-year-old with a ligature and stabbed her in the neck in the kitchen, the jury was told.
To stage a break-in the woman previously known as Megan Jones scattered various items around the house to make it look like the work of a random intruder.
She was found wearing blood-stained clothing, and semen of Carlos Camelo-Gomez, who she claimed she was not in a sexual relationship with at the time.
Later she was heard saying "sorry mum, I didn't mean for it to go this far" while standing near the coffin at the funeral.
The jury was told she was infatuated and obsessed with Carlos Camelo-Gomez, and believed her mother was an obstacle to their relationship.
Camelo-Gomez, who worked in the office of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, had met him through his wife who was also a member of the church.
She had a "sham marriage" with his brother in Colombia to secure his residency in Australia.
This was an attempt to please Carlos, who she also wanted to continue financially supporting after inheriting her mother's house.
The Crown said that by mid-2000 she was in love with him, telling a friend "she wanted to marry him and had never met anyone like him".
She visited a bridal shop and paid a deposit and made payments on a wedding dress.
But her mother hated the man and believed he was using her daughter for money.
The jury was played two triple-zero calls made from the home of Camelo-Gomez's neighbours, after she told them she had got out of the shower to be attacked by a man wearing a stocking over his face.
Shaking and screaming she ran to the neighbours thinking her mother might be there, she said in recorded police interviews played at her trial.
She said she was choked, punched, and kicked by the random man who pushed her onto a mattress.
"He got me by the throat and I couldn't breathe," Camelo-Gomez said in her November 4, 2001 interview.
Police queried how Carlos's semen and her mother's DNA ended up on her T-shirt.
"That's a really good question because I've got no idea. And I've got no idea how my mother's blood got on there," she replied.
She was not charged until September 2019 after the case was re-investigated by the Unsolved Homicide Unit.
Camelo-Gomez claimed she only had sex with the man once, months after her mother's death, when she became pregnant.
She is due to be sentenced on August 3.
Carlos Camelo-Gomez could not give evidence as he suffered a serious brain injury after a 2013 car accident and had "severe retrograde amnesia," unable to remember events prior to the accident.
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