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Woman accused of trying to solicit someone to kill 2 witnesses in son's case

Josefina Cardona-Cardona is the mother of Manuel Marcos Cardona, who was 14 when he fatally stabbed a man
Josefina Cardona-Cardona was in a Palm Beach County courtroom on May 7, 2024, to face two counts of solicitation to commit murder.
Posted at 10:43 PM, May 06, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-08 11:26:10-04

LAKE WORTH BEACH, Fla. — The mother of a boy who was sentenced in April to 15 years in prison in a stabbing death in 2022 is facing two counts of attempting to solicit someone to kill two cooperating witnesses in her son's case, a Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman said Monday.

In April, the agency gathered information about Josefina Cardona-Cardona, 43, of Lake Worth Beach, who is subject to deportation after completion of prosecution because she is undocumented, Teri Barbera said in a news release.

Detectives from the Violent Crimes Division and undercover PBSO agents met with the defendant several times in an undercover capacity during which she agreed to pay an undercover agent to kill the two cooperating witnesses involved in the case against her son, Barbera said.

She appeared before a judge in a Palm Beach County courtroom on Tuesday and is being held on a $550,000 bond.

Manuel Marcos Cardona was 14 years old during the crime on June 18, 2022, but was charged as an adult on Aug. 15, 2022. He is now 16.

Cardona had faced life in prison but in a plea deal for second-degree murder, he received a shorter sentence on Feb 8. Circuit Judge Cymonie Rowe approved the plea deal.

He is subject to deportation after his sentence.

The victim is not being identified because of Marsy's Law.

According to the arrest report, a fight broke out between two adults during a 5-year-old child's birthday party at a home in an unspecified location in Lake Worth Beach on June 22, 2022. The victim stepped in to break it up and other people at the party surrounded him.

The victim was stabbed five times, and the suspect and his parents further beat him, according to the arrest report.

Palm Beach County Fire Rescue took him to St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach, where he died the next day.

On June 21, 2022, Cardona and his family attempted to flee to North Carolina, but the Brevard County Sheriff's Office stopped the vehicle there.

He was extradited to Palm Beach County. He was initially housed in the juvenile wing of the jail but later was charged as an adult.