A College Station woman has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for dumping the body of her 1-year-old daughter in a Texas bayou in 2018.
A Galveston County jury ruled Tiaundra Christon guilty of tampering with a human corpse and sentenced her to the maximum 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Christon traveled with her 1-year old daughter on Oct. 19, 2018, from College Station to Houston to visit her boyfriend, co-defendant Kenny Hewett. Christon, her baby Hazana, and Hewett all stayed together at the Downtowner Inn.
In a 2018 arrest affidavit, the report states Hewett then began to beat Hazana for crying. The mother told police that Hewett told her to discipline her child as well, and so she began to beat Hazana also.
Hewett said he was not satisfied with how the mother had hit Hazana, so he started to beat the child some more.
The affidavit said Hazana began to go in and out of consciousness, so the couple put the 2-year-old in the bathtub and splashed water on her face, trying to revive her.
They realized Hazana had died, so they started using a hairdryer to try to revive her. The hair dryer just burned the deceased girl's skin.
They kept the child's body in the floorboard of Christon's vehicle for three days.
On Oct. 23, the couple put Hazana's corpse in a trash bag, tied a rock to it and threw her in the Moses Lake near Texas City.
When Christon returned to College Station, friends saw glimpse of Christon with a child, whom they believed to be Christon's daughter, and Wal-Mart video surveillance recorded footage of a child with Christon.
Then, on Oct 28, 2018, Christon called 911, claiming that her daughter went missing in Gabbard Park. A massive search and rescue operation for the child ensued, led by Detective Robert Wilson of the College Station Police Department and Texas Ranger Josh Ray and involved 163 people, including first responders and police.
The search for Christon's daughter turned into a criminal investigation once officers from College Station PD discovered a life-sized doll wearing clothing identical to the description of what Christon claimed her missing child to be wearing, in a trash can across the street from where Christon parked her car.
Officers later learned that Christon created and carried the doll around with her after she returned from Houston, pretending it was her baby. Christon later confessed that her child had actually died in the hotel room in Houston after the baby suffered abuse from Hewett and Christon; her cause of death was undetermined. Later, Christon led law enforcement officers to her daughter's remains in Texas City.
Christon's trial began on Tues, Dec 8. Christon pleaded not guilty to her charge of tampering with a human corpse. Her co-defendant, Hewett, pleaded guilty to the same charge in Nov 2019 and was sentenced to maximum 20 years in prison. At trial, Detectives Jacob Manuel and Amanda Hall of the Galveston County Sheriff's Office testified.
As head of the dive team, Detective Manuel recovered the child's body from Moses Lake. Detective Hall performed the on-scene identification.
After approximately 20 minutes of deliberations, the jury found Christon guilty on Dec 11.
On Dec 14., the jury deliberated punishment for approximately 40 minutes and assessed punishment at the maximum 20 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and $10,000 fine.
Under Texas law, Christon will be required to serve at least 25% of her sentence before she is eligible for parole. According to the District Attorney that spoke with 25 news earlier, Christon will be eligible for parole in 5 years.