Woman pleads guilty, sentenced to 52 years for Texas boy’s death

May 17, 2023, 11:46 AM | Updated: 12:00 pm

HOUSTON (AP) — A woman on Wednesday agreed to a 52-year prison sentence after pleading guilty in the 2021 death of her boyfriend’s 5-year-old Houston son, whose body she had kept hidden in a storage unit before it was discovered in an East Texas hotel, according to prosecutors.

During a court hearing, Theresa Balboa, 31, pleaded guilty to murder from capital murder to murder.

“This woman robbed the world of a little boy with a big smile and bright future, and there is no prison sentence long enough for someone like her,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in a statement.

Anthony Osso, Balboa’s attorney, said his client will be eligible for parole after serving half her sentence.

“She didn’t want to put the victim’s family through a trial, nor did she want to risk dying in prison ultimately. She has some light at the end of the tunnel with this alternative,” Osso said in a telephone interview following the hearing.

Balboa did not say anything during Wednesday’s court hearing.

Sarah Olson, Samuel’s mother, disagreed with the prison sentence Balboa received.

“Today she admitted to what she did, for 52 years and the chance of parole in 26. My son did not even get six years of life and she still gets a chance at one? This is not justice,” Sarah Olson told reporters after the hearing.

Andy Kahan, the director of victim services and advocacy for Crime Stoppers of Houston, said he and others will fight any efforts to release Balboa on parole

“And 26 years from now, God forbid, we’ll be there and make sure that she never breathes free air again,” Kahan said.

Prosecutors said Balboa, who had been dating Samuel’s father, had been watching the boy in her suburban Houston apartment when she hit him with a “blunt object” on May 12, 2021. Samuel would have turned 6 on May 29, 2021.

Neither the weapon used to kill the boy or a motive for his death were ever determined, according to prosecutors.

Balboa reported Samuel missing on May 27, 2021, initially claiming the boy’s mother and a man who presented himself as a police officer had taken the boy. Samuel’s parents had been involved in a bitter custody battle since filing for divorce in January 2020.

Authorities said Samuel’s body was kept in a bathtub at Balboa’s apartment until she and her roommate put it in a plastic tote and hid it in a storage unit. The body was later moved to a motel in Jasper, about 135 miles (215 kilometers) northeast of Houston.

Balboa’s roommate and a friend who helped her move the body to the motel in Jasper were each charged with evidence tampering counts.


Follow Juan A. Lozano on Twitter: https://twitter.com/juanlozano70

United States News

FILE- This undated photograph released by the U.S. military's Central Command shows what is describ...

Associated Press

4 charged with transporting Iranian-made weapons face detention hearings in US court

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Four crew members of an unflagged vessel that U.S. officials say was carrying Iranian-made missile components are scheduled to appear Tuesday in a federal courtroom in Virginia, where prosecutors are expected to argue they should be held without bond while they await trial. The night of Jan. 11, U.S. Central Command […]

33 minutes ago

Associated Press

Man pleads guilty in deaths of 2 officers at Virginia college in 2022 and is sentenced to life

HARRISONBURG, Va. (AP) — A man who had been scheduled for trial in the shooting deaths of two popular police officers at a Virginia college in 2022 instead pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison. Alexander Campbell, 29, pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Bridgewater College […]

59 minutes ago

FILE - Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen testifies before a House Financial Services Committee hearin...

Associated Press

Yellen urges world leaders to ‘unlock’ frozen Russian Central Bank assets and send them to Ukraine

WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Tuesday offered her strongest public support yet for the idea of liquidating roughly $300 billion in frozen Russian Central Bank assets and using them for Ukraine’s long-term reconstruction. “It is necessary and urgent for our coalition to find a way to unlock the value of these immobilized […]

2 hours ago

Middle class is shrinking, lower case is growing, Valley economist says...


Middle-class Americans may not be able to afford a home, Valley economist says

Why is the middle class shrinking? Is the U.S. economy growing? Valley economist Jim Rounds answered these questions on Monday.

2 hours ago

Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) leaves a House Republican conference meeting on Capitol Hill on April 27, ...

Kevin Stone

Rep. Debbie Lesko excited about her future in Arizona, frustrated with Washington politics

U.S. Rep. Debbie Lesko said she’s excited about the next chapter of her Arizona political career while expressing frustration about her tenure in Washington.

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Court documents shed new details in killing of nursing student at University of Georgia

ATLANTA (AP) — The suspect in the killing of a nursing student on the University of Georgia campus used an object as a weapon in the crime and he’s also accused of “disfiguring her skull,” according to newly filed arrest affidavits. Jose Ibarra, who faces multiple murder and assault charges, is also accused of dragging […]

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.


Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.


Sanderson Ford

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.

Woman pleads guilty, sentenced to 52 years for Texas boy’s death