Texas mom sentenced after fatally stabbing child, 5, because she ‘asked for cereal’

DA says officers on case ‘will forever be traumatized’

Hays County Jail booking photo of Krystle Villanueva.
Hays County Jail booking photo of Krystle Villanueva.

HAYS COUNTY – A Hays County woman who killed her 5-year-old daughter after stabbing her multiple times in 2017 has been sentenced.

Krystle Concepcion Villanueva, 27, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Thursday after a two-week trial.

She was arrested in January 2017 after she told police she killed her daughter because she “asked for cereal,” according to the Hays County District Attorney’s Office. She also attacked the grandfather of the child from behind and stabbed him.

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The grandfather fled and told police Villanueva was still in the house with the child, prompting a response from SWAT team members and crisis negotiators.

SWAT entered the house and found the child decapitated and stabbed in a bedroom, the DA’s office said.

Villanueva, who was naked in a front room, was taken into custody on site. The DA’s office said blood testing revealed she had alcohol and marijuana in her system.

Defense attorneys argued Villanueva attacked the child and man because of delusions and asked the jury to not find her guilty by reason of insanity.

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Evidence showed that she has been previously treated for mental issues, the DA’s office said.

Prosecutors said treatment coincided with drug use, and she had not shown the symptoms she described since her arrest.

The jury rejected an insanity defense.

“Every law enforcement member who worked on this case will forever be traumatized by what Ms. Villanueva did to her innocent daughter," Hays County Criminal District Attorney Wes Mau said in a news release.

She also received a sentence of 20 years for aggravated assault on the grandfather.

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