DNA results in toddler’s murder point to another suspect

Posted at 1:37 PM, Jul 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-27 14:37:25-04

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.

According to court documents obtained by KRIS 6 News, the results of DNA evidence collected at the scene have been released. The results confirm the blood and skin found underneath Arabela’s fingernails belong to the mother’s boyfriend.

After the incident, the mother’s boyfriend told police he had no physical contact with the victim the night of the incident.

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 remains 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 bond hearing after complaining that her client had been held behind bars for eight months. Hernandez requested Herrera’s bond be reduced to $10,000. 

Assistant District Attorney Melissa Madrigal asked for a three-day notice. Local rules require attorneys who want to hold a hearing provide the other side three days notice.

The visiting judge told Hernandez holding Herrera an extra three days wouldn’t make a difference. That led to a disagreement in court.

"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.