A Texas man, who told authorities that he killed a three-year-old boy in order to make room in the family’s home for he and his wife’s unborn child, has been sentenced to to life in prison without possibility of parole.
According to police, 21-year-old Bobby Woods Jr. claimed his girlfriend, 23-year-old Billie Jean Cuttler wanted her three-year-old nephew, Mason Cuttler, dead to make room for their unborn child.
At the time, Woods and Billie Jean were living together in a house that was a home for several families.
According to the New York Post, A lawyer later revealed that Billie Jean wasn’t pregnant.
Woods was found guilty Friday, of capital murder for the 2015 murder, where authorities say Woods drowned the young child in a pond 110 miles northeast of Houston reported KMOV4.
Billie Jean, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder, received a 20-year prison sentence.
During the trial, experts testified that Billie Jean’s ability to function intellectually was below 99.8% of the population.
The Murder of Mason Cuttler
Mason’s body was found floating in a pond near Lufkin, Texas on August 28, 2015, one day after his parents reported him missing.
According to Mason’s Parents, Kevin Cuttler and Brandi Wonzer, Mason had gone outside to play while the two of them cleaned the family home, and never returned.
Prosecutors say a Texas man who told police he drowned a 3-year-old boy because his girlfriend was pregnant and they needed room in the home has been sentenced to life in prison without parole. https://t.co/j42V6F4X1I
— WNEM TV5 (@WNEMTV5news) August 22, 2019
People.com reported that at the time of the murder, Woods was dating Kevin Cuttler’s sister, Billie Jean.
Woods later told police he was aware of Mason’s inability to swim prior to pushing him into the pond, yet after doing so, turned his back and ignored the young child’s cries for help.
According to KTRE, The defense attorney for Bobby Woods Jr., John Tunnell, claimed though the death was tragic, there was no evidence that a crime had been committed.
Tunnell argued that the polygraph Woods had taken and failed, was simply an interrogation tactic as police knew it wouldn’t be admissible in court.
He also stated that because Woods was unaware that the polygraph was inadmissible, it—in effect—only served to illicit a false confession. The prosecution, on the other hand, argued the confession was voluntary.
Utimately, the defense lost its motion to suppress the confession as evidence.
US Child Deaths by Drowning
According to a report (pdf) conducted buy the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2017, unintentional drowning was the leading cause of death for children ages 1-4, accounting for 424 deaths.
Among children ages 5-9 it was the 2nd leading cause of death accounting for 125 deaths.
For children ages 10-14, it caused 110 deaths making it the 5th leading cause of death for that age group.
A total of 43 children under the age of 1 were killed by unintentional drowning making it the sixth leading cause of death for infants.
A.P. contributed to this report.