Illegal Alien Admits to Brutally Killing 10-Year-Old Texas Girl
Previously deported illegal from Mexico pleads guilty to horrific charges
A previously deported illegal alien has admitted to brutally killing a 10-year-old girl in Texas following his failed attempts to sexually assault the child, according to reports.
Gustavo Zavala-Garcia, an illegal from Mexico, pleaded guilty to strangling and drowning his young cousin by marriage in 2016 in Cherokee County, Texas.
Zavala-Garcia admitted Thursday to murdering Kayla Gomez-Orozco in 2016 after the girl went missing, CBS Austin reports.
Gruesome details, where Zavala-Garcia kidnapped Gomez-Orozco from a church service and attempted to sexually assault her, were revealed in Court records released after the murder.
The illegal alien struck the girl in the head with a blunt object, then strangled and drowned her, according to prosecutors.
The child’s body was found days later in a water well outside the home where Zavala-Garcia had been living.
As Breitbart News reported, Zavala-Garcia crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally sometime after 2014.
He was first deported for violent crime charges, having been arrested twice for assault that year.
Zavala-Garcia was been living in Bullard, Texas at the time of the crime.
He was being held on an immigration detainer while the Cherokee County and Smith County District Attorneys determined which charges would be filed.
Zavala-Garcia will serve a life sentence without the possibility of parole for the murder.
Prosecutors in the case were originally considering pursuing the death penalty for Zavala-Garcia.
Smith County District Attorney Jacob Putnam says the decision to seek a life sentence was made after prosecutors and defense attorneys learned Zavala-Garcia is intellectually disabled, which would disqualify him for execution.
Judge Jack Skeen, of the 241st District Court, signed off on the plea deal during a pretrial hearing after assuring Zavala-Garcia understood it.
Zavala-Garcia will be placed in the custody of the Texas Department of Correctional Institutions Division.
He has requested a prompt transfer from the Smith County Jail, where he has been held for nearly three years.
The deal was a reversal from the longstanding effort from the District Attorney’s Office to seek the death penalty in the high-profile capital murder case that has captivated the Tyler area’s attention.
Putman said the reversal came after the defense contended that Zavala-Garcia had an intellectual disability, so the prosecution brought in their own expert who also found Zavala-Garcia intellectually disabled.
Putman said it would be virtually impossible to sentence Zavala-Garcia to death because of longstanding U.S. Supreme Court precedent on executing intellectually disabled people, and that life without parole was the highest possible sentence.