Texas Woman Gets 50 Years For Killing Boyfriend’s Child

A Texas woman accused of killing her boyfriend’s daughter in 2019 was sentenced to 50 years behind bars in a Harris County court earlier this month, KIAH reported.

According to an April 5 press release from the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, 33-year-old Shawn Hooey was taking care of her boyfriend’s 4-year-old daughter Jakyzia on September 7, 2019, when the child died from blunt force trauma to her head.

The child’s father, who had sole custody of the girl, worked nights, so he left Jakyzia with his girlfriend and her five children at their home in Tomball, Texas. Since the girl’s father stayed with family to be closer to his job, he rarely saw his daughter.

According to prosecutors, by the time Hooey took the child to the urgent care clinic on the night she died, Jakyzia, who had a black eye and other visible injuries, was already cold.

Hooey offered several versions of how the girl got her injuries. She claimed the child ran into a doorknob. In another account, she said the child flung herself into the bathroom toilet paper holder.

On the night of Jakyzia’s death, Hooey claimed that the girl was struggling to breathe so she drove her around in a hot vehicle to get her breathing under control. Hooey said she then drove back to the house, changed her clothes, and took the child to urgent care.

Jakyzia’s body showed signs of a history of abuse. An autopsy determined the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head. According to the medical examiner, Jakyzia’s fatal injury would have immediately caused dazed reactions, vomiting, and seizures.

Following a nine-day trial, jurors convicted Hooey of murder and she was sentenced on April 3 to 50 years in prison.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Gilbert Sawtell who heads up the Child Fatality Section of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.

Sawtelle said in the press release that abusers often hide injuries by dressing a child in clothing that covers them up or keeping a child away from other adults. He said Jakyzia was “wearing long sleeves in the summertime,” and suggested that if an adult had paid attention to the telltale sign, the child would still be alive.

Hooey will not be eligible for parole until she has served at least half of her 50-year sentence.