Texas woman gets life in prison in beheading of daughter

Posted at 10:59 PM, Mar 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-06 23:59:34-05

KYLE, Texas (AP) — A Texas woman accused of stabbing and beheading her 5-year-old daughter in 2017 has been convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison.

A Hays County jury on Thursday convicted Krystle Villanueva, 27, in the death of her daughter, Giovanna Hernandez. The girl was killed at their home in Kyle, located about 20 miles (32 kilometers) southwest of Austin.

Jurors also found Villanueva guilty of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in the stabbing of the girl’s grandfather, who survived.

A judge sentenced Villanueva to life in prison without parole.

Villanueva was arrested after police were called to the home she shared with Giovanna, the girl’s father and his parents.

Prosecutors said Villaneuva told a 911 operator that she killed her daughter because “she asked for cereal” and then stabbed her father-in-law.

Her defense attorney had argued that she should be found not guilty by reason of insanity. Carlos Garcia told The Associated Press on Friday that he was disappointed with the verdict.

Garcia said that Villaneuva suffered from psychosis for many years. He said that the day of the attack that she believed that her family had been taken over by clones.

The Austin American-Statesman reports that investigators had previously only told the media that the child’s body had been “mutilated.” The trial was the first time investigators publicly provided additional details.