Mother charged with murder in child's death to appear in court
The Nueces County Medical Examiner ruled the death of Arabella Sanchez a homicide. Photo courtesy of family.
UPDATE: The defense attorney is ill and the court appearance will be rescheduled for later this week, according to a court clerk.
A Robstown woman charged with murder is set to appear in court today.
Chastity Herrera, 19, was arrested on Dec. 22 after the death of her infant daughter, Arabella Sanchez, was ruled a homicide.
On Dec. 18, officers were called to Herrera's home where they found the infant unresponsive and not breathing. When officers entered Herrera's apartment, they found Herrera sitting on the sofa, holding Arabella and screaming, according to an arrest affidavit.
Officers began chest compressions, and when EMS arrived, Arabella was transported to Northwest Regional Hospital in Calallen.
Arabella was pronounced dead at 4:10 p.m.
Officers reported seeing redness and swelling around Arabella's eyes and nose, and what appeared to be dried vomit under her mouth an on her shirt. The apartment was secured as a crime scene, and processed for evidence.
Officers reported smelling burnt marijuana and recovered burnt marijuana cigarettes, paraphernalia, and prescription medication at the scene.
According to the report, Herrera told officers that she had been home with Arabella most of the day, and had put her down for bed around 10 p.m. Herrera then took prescription medication to go to sleep.
The report states that Herrera left Arabella unattended for about 17 hours without adult supervision, and that she admitted that she had ordered and smoked marijuana the day before, and took a prescription sleep medication.
Herrera was arrested and charged with murder and felony injury to a child by omission. She is being held in the Nueces County Jail on a $750,000 bail for the murder charge and $250,000 for the injury to a child charge.
Today, Herrera will appear before a judge for a status hearing. We will update this story as soon as new information is available later in the morning.