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Inside Melissa Lucio's interrogation

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Posted at 11:26 AM, Apr 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-26 12:30:02-04

HOUSTON — Now to the emotional reaction from a South Texas mother on death row, hearing for the first time her execution will no longer happen.

A Texas appeals court issued a stay of execution for Melissa Lucio on Monday.

For now, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice tells 25 News Lucio will remain on death row for now, but she's getting a chance to fight for her life.

The 2020 Hulu documentary "The State of Texas vs. Melissa" provides a stunning look inside the interrogation room with investigators grilling Lucio over the death of her 2-year-old daughter Mariah.

"if I beat you half to death like that little child was beat I bet you you'd die too," an investigator can be heard saying during the interrogation, to which Lucio responds "Sir, I did not beat my daughter, sir. I'm not that cruel to my children."

Lucio's attorneys claim little Mariah likely died in an accidental fall down a staircase at their home, not from abuse.

After several hours of questioning, the mother of 14 would take the blame for Mariah's injuries.

"They just kept pointing fingers at me and threatening me and telling me that I was going to spend the rest of my life in prison and that I wasn't going to see the rest of my children grow up and get married, and they just kept throwing so many words at me," Lucio said in an interview while in prison. "I just told them that I'm responsible for Mariah's bruises. They wanted to hear something. I wasn't going to admit to causing her death because I wasn't responsible."

The Cameron County District Attorney at the time, Armando Villalobos, would end up in prison for an unrelated bribery conviction.

Lucio's capital murder conviction would end up in an appeals court, but when the U.S. Supreme Court chose not to hear the case, a date for the execution would be set, devastating her family.

"I didn't see my mom being violent," Lucio's daughter Daniella said in the documentary. "She was a good mom."

Lucio's son John, told 25 News he would be spending all day Tuesday visiting his mother at the prison in Gatesville where she awaits her next court appearance.