Hill Country Woman Charged With Mutilating, Stabbing Daughter to Death Could Face Death Penalty

click to enlarge Krystle Villanueva, 24, has been charged with capital murder in the stabbing death of her 5 year old daughter - Hays County Sheriff's Office
Hays County Sheriff's Office
Krystle Villanueva, 24, has been charged with capital murder in the stabbing death of her 5 year old daughter
A grand jury this week handed down a capital murder indictment against the Hays County woman accused of stabbing her five-year-old daughter to death, meaning capital punishment could be on the table as prosecutors pursue the case.

Police say that on January 5, the father-in-law of 24-year-old Krystle Villanueva called 911 saying she'd attacked and stabbed him and that he worried about the safety of Villanueva's daughter. According to court records, the father-in-law told investigators he'd walked into the kitchen to make lunch that day when he saw Villanueva grab a knife and take it into the back bedroom. That's when he heard the girl crying. When Villanueva came out the bedroom, she began stabbing her father-in-law, who sustained wounds to his back and forehead.

Villanueva had went to rehab for drug addiction in 2015, and while there was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and ADHD, according to prior reports.

Hays County Sheriff Gary Cutler told reporters that deputies who arrived on scene found Villanueva's daughter dead in the bedroom from multiple stab wounds. He said she'd been "mutilated" and called it "probably the most horrific case in Hays County History."

On Wednesday the grand jury also indicted Villanueva on an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charge. In a press release this week, Hays County District Attorney Wes Mau said his office has not yet decided whether to pursue the death penalty in the case. If convicted of capital murder, Villanueva's minimum punishment would be life in prison.

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