Vanessa Narvaez, the 22-year-old Brownwood woman charged in the November 2018 death of her 2-year-old son, pleaded guilty to murder Thursday in 35th District Court in exchange for a 50-year prison sentence.
Narvaez was indicted for capital murder, and with the state not seeking the death penalty, a conviction on that charge would have meant a life sentence with no possibility of parole.
District Judge Steve Ellis approved a plea bargain negotiated between District Attorney Micheal Murray and defense attorney Angie Hadley. Narvaez faced a sentencing range of 5 to 99 years or life in prison with the murder conviction and will be eligible for parole after 25 years, Murray said.
“You’re not correcting a tragedy, but justice will be served in her serving a long sentence,” Murray said later in his office.
Narvaez was accused in the indictment of causing Anival Ivan Narvaez’s death by “striking him against the floor or a hard surface, or by striking him with a blunt object, or by manner and means unknown to the grand jury.” Narvaez earlier told an investigator she picked the child up and slammed him to tdshe floor twice, CPS documents filed in the Brown County District Clerk’s office state. Anival sustained a severely fractured skull and died during emergency surgery at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, the CPS documents state. Police, firefighters and Lifeguard Ambulance were dispatched at noon Nov. 19, 2918 to an apartment at the Villas Apartments, 4235 South U.S. 377, for a medical emergency involving a child, police said earlier. The child was transported to Brownwood Regional Medical Center in critical condition with head injuries inconsistent with information provided by the mother at the scene, police said, The child was flown to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, where he died. According to CPS documents: Narvaez’s husband, Daniel, said he was out getting lunch and came home to find his wife holding the unconscious Anival. Daniel Narvaez said his wife told him Anival had climbed on a 4-foot-tall dresser and fallen off. Narvaez told Texas Ranger Jason Shea she picked Anival up and slammed him down on the floor two times, CPS documents state.
Murray said the state anticipated the defense would have included an assertion of postpartum.
The state sought an agreement that would do justice to the case and took several factors including the circumstances and cost to the community, Murray said.
Narvaez was “a young mom that was 21, that had three kids and one on the way,” Murray said. “One pushed her button and she reacted. She took responsibility from the beginning.”