HometownMcLennan County


Family Members and Supporters gather at Heritage Square to 'Free Melissa Lucio'

Melissa Lucio has been on death row for 15 years for the death of her 2-year-old daughter Mariah in 2008
Posted at 6:11 PM, Feb 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-23 08:58:46-05

WACO, TEXAS — The execution date is approaching for a South Texas woman who was convicted of capital murder in 2008.

At Heritage Square in Downtown Waco, family and supporters rallied to highlight the case that has ended up as a documentary on Hulu, “The State of Texas Vs. Melissa.”

For more than 15 years Melissa Lucio has been on death row for the death of her 2-year-old daughter Mariah in 2008 who fell down some steps and died two days later due to a brain injury. Last month, she received her execution date set for April 27.

"Melissa is a life, lives matter, everybody's life matter and her life did not matter that day when she was sentenced to death," says her sister Sonya Valencia Alvarez.

Sonya alongside other family and supporters have traveled across the state urging Texans to watch the documentary.

The clock is winding down with a little over 8 weeks (about 2 months) left until Lucio is set to be executed.

"It has just been a nightmare for all of us, " says Alvarez.

Lucio is one of 6 women currently on death row and the only Latina woman to be sentenced to death in Texas history.

Melissa's case went through six appeals to an overturned conviction, including the U.S. supreme court but all have been dismissed or denied.

Cameron County District Attorney Luis Saenz stated that "a jury came down with a guilty verdict in Lucio's case and he stands by her conviction."

Filmmaker of the Hulu Documentary Sabrina Van Tasse shared that "the 5th circuit of appeals which is the most conservative court in the country reversed her conviction based on she did not receive a fair trial, we really thought that was going to save her."

Supporters of Melissa Lucio are now urging people nationwide to watch the documentary which details her case with a goal to set her free.

Lucio's attorneys are currently seeking additional time to present evidence of her innocence and for Cameron County to withdraw their execution date if Cameron County denies their motion, it will head to the state court.