A woman was convicted of capital murder Thursday after she stabbed and decapitated her five-year-old daughter in January 2017 in Kyle, Texas.
Twenty-seven-year-old Krystle Concepcion Villanueva was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for murdering her daughter, Giovanna Hernandez, according to CBS Austin.
Police arrested Villanueva January 5, 2017, at the home where she lived with her daughter, the girl’s father Refugio Hernandez, Jr., and his parents, Eustorgio and Nancy Arellano, according to the Hays County District Attorney’s Office.
The press release continued:
Mr. Arellano called 911 to report that Ms. Villanueva had attacked him without warning from behind, stabbing him in the back and head, before he was able to flee the home. After police learned from Mr. Arellano that Ms. Villanueva had remained in the house with her 5 year-old daughter, SWAT teams and crisis negotiators were summoned to the potential hostage situation.
Ms. Villanueva also called 9-1-1 from inside the residence. As police were responding to surround the house, Ms. Villanueva told the 911 operator that she had killed her daughter because “she asked for cereal,” and then stabbed her father-in-law. When SWAT operators learned that the child may have been injured or killed, they broke into the home, finding Ms. Villanueva nude in the front room, apparently freshly showered. She was restrained and taken into custody.
“As SWAT Team members secured the residence, they located the body of Ms. Villanueva’s child in a bedroom. The child had been stabbed to death and decapitated,” the release stated.
Following her arrest, officers took Villanueva to the hospital where blood tests revealed she had alcohol and marijuana in her system.
At the time of the murder, Hays County Sheriff Gary Cutler said the case was one of the worst he had ever seen during his 43 years in law enforcement.
“It’s probably the most horrific case in the history of Hays County. It’s very sad,” he commented.
At her trial, Villanueva claimed that at the time of the attacks, she was under the “delusional belief that her daughter and her father-in-law had been replaced by clones and had to be killed to bring back her real family members,” the district attorney’s office said.
Villanueva’s defense team conceded she had killed the little girl, but asked the jury not to find her guilty by reason of insanity.
Despite this, the jury rejected the defense and found the mother guilty.
In addition to her life sentence, Villanueva also received 20 years in prison for stabbing Arellano.
“Every law enforcement member who worked on this case will forever be traumatized by what Ms. Villanueva did to her innocent daughter,” said Hays County Criminal District Attorney Wes Mau.
“I commend all the investigators and officers who endured this horror with calm professionalism so that justice could be done,” he concluded.