Women Guilty of Plotting Acid Attack: Juries

Esperanza Medina severely burned in 2008 Logan Square attack

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Esperanza Medina

    Two separate Cook County juries have convicted a pair of Cicero women in connection with a 2008 acid attack that left another woman severely disfigured.

    Ofelia Garcia, a 60-year-old grandmother, and her ex-daughter-in-law, Maria Olvera-Garcia, were each found guilty on three counts of heinous battery for the July 28, 2008 attack on Esperanza Medina.

    Separate juries were seated because each woman blamed the other. 

    "I was very confident.  This was my fight and I won," Medina said outside the courtroom after the last of two verdicts was announced.  "I am relaxed and happy.  I can go on with my life."

    One of the juries found Garcia-Olvera guilty shortly after 2 p.m. after deliberating for less than an hour.  She had no immediate reaction to the verdict but began to cry when the jury was excused.

    Prior to the deliberations in her case, Garcia-Olvera's attorney reminded the jury that they need "reasonable doubt" to convict his client.

    "This is a statement she can't read in a language she can't write," said attorney Michael Holzman, referring to a statement Garcia-Olvera allegedly gave to police and prosecutors implicating herself.

    The jury hearing the case for Garcia began deliberating at around 6 p.m. and returned a verdict within 90 minutes. 

    Medina suffered full-thickness chemical burns to 25 percent of her body after sulfuric acid was splashed on her as she entered her car to get to work on July 28, 2008.

    Wearing a black sleeveless dress, she testified Tuesday about the pain and rehabilitation she's gone through since the attack.

    Prosecutors said Garcia and Garcia-Olvera plotted the attack because they were upset that Medina was dating their ex-boyfriend.  A third woman accused in the attack, Linda Dirzo, died in jail last year.

    Neither of the defense teams called witnesses during the three-day trial.

    Garcia and Olvera-Garcia each face up to 45 years in prison.   Three teens have previously pleaded guilty to battery charges.

    Medina, a former social worker, told reporters she plans to go back to school and fight for legislation that would place stricter regulations on sulfuric acid.