Texas couple charged in death of 3-year-old boy

Samantha Dawn Mathis and Robert Jose Garza, Jr. (Police and family photos via KCBD)
Samantha Dawn Mathis and Robert Jose Garza, Jr. (Police and family photos via KCBD)(KWTX)
Published: Feb. 12, 2020 at 11:09 AM CST
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A mother and her boyfriend have been arrested and charged with capital murder after a 3-year-old boy was taken to the hospital and died from his injuries.

Levelland police say they were called to the Levelland Covenant Hospital to investigate.

The 3-year-old boy, Elijah Lebario, had severe bruising on most of his body and had an internal body temperature of 81 degrees when he was brought in.

During the investigation police learned, the child’s mother, now identified as Samantha Dawn Mathis, 25, of Levelland, and her boyfriend, Robert Garza, Jr. both assaulted Elijah.

Due to the extensive injuries of the child, he was taken to University Medical Center in Lubbock for further treatment.

When he arrived, he was taken to the operating room and was pronounced deceased.

Mathis was taken into custody by the Levelland Police Department and later charged with capital murder.

An arrest warrant was obtained for Garza charging capital murder and was later found at a residence in the 400 block of North College Avenue.

Mathis and Garza were both ordered held in lieu of $500,000 bonds.

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services was also contacted to assist in the investigation by interviewing and assessing the condition of the boy’s 4-year-old brother.

Levelland police were contacted after their assessment and advised he, too, had injuries.

The brother was taken to a Lubbock hospital and has since been released to family members.

He was placed with the family, but without his clothing or necessities.

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