A College Station woman has been sentenced to 20 years in prison and fined $10,000 for putting the body of her 2-year-old child in a trash bag and attempting to sink it in a Texas City bayou, prosecutors said.
A Galveston County jury, at the end of a jury trial early Monday, found Tiaundra Kae Christon, 23, guilty of one count of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence with the intent to impair a human corpse, said Kevin Petroff, first assistant district attorney.
The 20-year-sentence and $10,000 fine is the maximum punishment for the charge, Petroff said.
The trial is the last in Galveston County in 2020, officials have said.
Christon was arrested in November 2018 in connection with the death of her daughter, Hazana Anderson.
The child had been dead days before she was reported missing to College Station police on Oct. 28, 2018, according to a criminal complaint filed by the Texas Rangers.
Christon and her daughter, along with a third person, Kenny D’Shawn Hewett, were staying together in a Houston hotel Oct. 17, according to the complaint. Hewett and Christon left the room to get food and returned after 30 minutes. When they came back to the room, the child was crying, according to the complaint.
To quiet her, Christon and Hewett hit the toddler in the legs, arms and face with a belt to the point where she began to lose consciousness, according to the complaint.
They put the child in a bathtub to try to revive her, but she died, according to the complaint.
Hewett in November 2019 pleaded guilty to one count of tampering with physical evidence with the intent to impair a human corpse and was sentenced to 20 years in prison as part of a plea agreement, court records show.
The couple put the child’s body in the back seat of a car for three days before placing it in a trash bag on Oct. 23, according to the complaint.
They drove to Galveston County, to a bayou near state Highway 146, tied a rope and a rock around the trash bag and put it in the water, according to the complaint.
Christon reported her daughter missing on Oct. 28. At the time, she told police the child disappeared after being briefly left unattended in a College Station park.
Christon was charged with making a false report after College Station police found a doll similar to one belonging to the missing child in a trash can, according to the complaint.
Christon led police to the body Oct. 31, according to the complaint. Hewett later pointed police to the same location, according to the complaint.
A search of Brazos County court records show no other pending criminal charges against Christon.