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DNA found on dead baby belongs to mom’s boyfriend

Posted at 1:21 AM, Jul 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-28 02:23:08-04

CORPUS CHRISTI –  New evidence has been released in the case of a Robstown mother accused of killing her own baby.

Chasity Herrera is accused in the December 15 murder of her daughter Arabela Sanchez.

Court documents say the DNA evidence from blood and skin collected underneath Arabela’s fingernails belong to the mother’s boyfriend.  The boyfriend told police he had no physical contact with Arabela before being found dead.

There’s no word yet on if or when he could be charged. Nueces County Assistant District Attorney Matthew Manning said, in this case, there are a few options. Law enforcement officer or officers with the District Attorney’s office could apply for a warrant for the potential suspect’s arrest.

The other option is the District Attorney’s office can gather evidence and present it to a grand jury. If the grand jury hands down an indictment, then a warrant could be issued.

Meanwhile, Chasity Herrera is charged with murder and injury to a child. She’s still in the Nueces County Jail on a $1 million bond.

On Friday morning, a plea deadline hearing was held for Herrera. Assistant District Attorney Melissa Madrigal asked for an extension of the plea deadline, but defense attorney Angelica Hernandez said there was no need for the extension, adding that Herrera would like a jury trial.

Hernandez then asked the judge for a reduction in Herrara’s bond to $10,000 after pointing out that her client has been jailed for 8 months.  Prosecution argued that she needed a 3-day notice according to the law.  The defense attorney was not happy to hear her client would be held another 3 days.

“Three days does make a difference when someone is being held and DNA evidence exonerates them. When DNA evidence comes back and says the blood and skin under the victim’s skin is not hers and it’s another individual’s.” Hernandez said.

Madrigal replied, “Judge, I know Ms. Hernandez is playing for the cameras but I think we’re entitled to our three days notice and she’s charged with injury to a child by omission. So, we’re asking for three days notice before any evidence is presented to the court.”

Hernandez responded, “There’s no playing to the camera. There’s rights. There’s my client’s rights.”

In the end, the judge denied Hernandez’s request for a bond hearing. She said a bond hearing could be held in three days.