According to reports from AP News, a jury in Hays County convicted 27-year-old Krystle Villanueva on Thursday in connection to the death of her daughter, Giovanna Hernandez. The young girl was killed at their home in Kyle, which is located about 20 miles southwest of Austin. Beside being convicted for killing the 5-year-old, jurors also found Villanueva guilty of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in the stabbing of the girl’s grandfather, who ended up surviving the damage.
As a result, the judge sentenced Krystle Villanueva to life in prison without parole.
In 2017, Villanueva was arrested after police were called to the home she shared with Giovanna, Giovanna’s father, and his parents. According to prosecutors, Villaneuva told a 911 operator that she killed her daughter because “she asked for cereal,” later stabbing her father-in-law, too.
As is always the case with stories like these, her defense attorney argued that she should be found not guilty by reason of insanity. That was not the case, with Carlos Garcia telling The Associated Press on Friday that he was disappointed with the verdict. According to Garcia, his client suffered from psychosis for many years. He also said that the day of the attack, Villanueva said she believed that her family had been taken over by clones.
Reports from the Austin American-Statesman reveal that investigators had previously only told the media that the child’s body had been “mutilated” and the trial was the first time investigators publicly provided additional details on the horrible event.