Trial begins for mother accused of stabbing her 5-year-old to death in 2017


Krystle Villanueva is charged with capital murder in connection with the death of her five-year-old Giovanna (KXAN/HCSO)

KYLE, Texas (KXAN) — Opening statements in the trial for a mother accused in the 2017 stabbing death of her five-year-old child began on Tuesday morning, Steve Thomas, court administrator for Hays Co. District Judge Bill Henry, confirmed to KXAN.

BACKGROUND: Mother accused of stabbing, mutilating 5-year-old daughter in Kyle

Krystle Villanueva, who was 24-years-old at the time, was charged with capital murder after police say she mutilated her daughter Giovanna. According to Hays County deputies, Villanueva stabbed her 58-year-old father-in-law with a 10-inch-long knife and then the man says he saw her take the knife into a back bedroom.

He says he heard the child crying and officials believe this is when the child was being stabbed.

Villanueva’s father-in-law told police that his daughter-in-law used drugs, a claim that was backed up by Villanueva’s sister, who said that Villanueva had been in a facility for substance abuse treatment.

Villanueva reportedly sought treatment at the facility for marijuana, crack and meth abuse. Police, however, said they didn’t know if drugs played a role in the incident.

While in treatment, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and ADHD, according to her arrest affidavit.

According to Thomas, the trial is currently in the evidence phase and is projected to go into next week.

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