Man sentenced to 99 years in prison for severely beating, disabling his 4-month-old son

Guilty verdict for man accused of severely beating his 4-month-old son in 2018

Courtesy: Bexar County Jail

SAN ANTONIO – Terrence Harper has been sentenced to 99 years in prison after a jury found him guilty of injury to a child for the 2018 beating of his 4-month-old son Trace.

It was the maximum sentence allowed for the crime.

In an interview with KSAT in 2019, the boy’s mother said doctors at University Hospital told her that Trace had severe trauma, including retinal hemorrhaging, bleeding in the brain, a cracked skull, traumatic brain injury and rib fractures.

“He had a stroke, so the left side of his body was completely paralyzed. He had a face droop. He has cortical visual impairment, so he’s legally blind. He now has cerebral palsy because of his TBI,” the boy’s mother, Taylor Hibbens, said.

This case also led police to reopen a 2012 child death case where an infant allegedly died in Harper’s care. The incident was originally ruled an accident and he has since been charged with capital murder in that case. The indictment said Harper struck the infant with an unknown object, shook him and threw him against a wall and floor.

Hibbens previously said she was unaware of the 2012 incident involving her then-fiance Harper.

“I feel like this could have been preventable,” Hilbbens said. “Two innocent 4-month-olds, that’s crazy.”

Harper’s capital murder trial in the 2012 case is expected at a later date.

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About the Authors:

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with 15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast Texas Crime Stories.

Misael started at KSAT-TV as a photojournalist in 1987.