The Inquisitr previously reported on Villanueva’s case when she was taken into custody several years ago. She was only 24-years-old at the time of her arrest. In addition to allegedly killing her daughter, the suspect’s father-in-law, Eustorgio Arellano, accused her of stabbing him multiple times. Arellano claimed he was trying to protect his granddaughter when Villanueva attacked him.
People reports that on the day of the incident, Villanueva called the police and told them she had killed her daughter, Giovanna Hernandez, after “she asked for cereal.”
Law enforcement officers that were working the case that day told reporters that the crime scene was one of the worst things they had ever seen. Not only did the woman allegedly stab her child, but she also mutilated her body.
“When investigators stormed her home, they found Villanueva freshly showered and nude in her front room, officials said. Her daughter was in the bedroom where police found her ‘stabbed to death and decapitated,'” wrote the outlet.
The trial marks the first time that the graphic details of the murder were shared with the public.
Villanueva was officially sentenced yesterday, March 5, after a two-week trial. She received a life sentence for the capital murder charge and an additional 20 years for the aggravated assault with a deadly weapon on Arellano.
Her defense team attempted to get her sentence lessened by submitting an insanity plea, but jurors did not accept the defense presented by her attorneys.
An article published by the Austin American-Statesman about the case and subsequent sentencing offered further insight from one of the attorneys. The piece quoted Hays Country District Attorney Wes Maus, who said that at the time the attacks took place, “[Villanueva] had been under the delusional belief her daughter and father-in-law had been replaced by clones and had to be killed to bring back her real family members.”
The prosecution argued that while Villanueva was indeed treated for mental health issues in the past, her care “coincided with prior drug abuse.” Blood tests revealed that only alcohol and marijuana were present in her system at the time of the attacks.
In an additional statement from Maus, the attorney praised the many law enforcement members who worked on the case.
“I commend all the investigators and officers who endured this horror with calm professionalism so that justice could be done,” he said.