Lufkin woman indicted for murder in baby's death

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - An Angelina County grand jury has formally charged a Lufkin woman in the death of a six-month old baby.

Evangelina Villanueva, 28, is charged with murder.

According to Lufkin Police spokesman Det. J.B. Smith, Villanueva was a suspect in a case in which a baby, Joseph Hernandez, six months, suffered a broken neck and internal bleeding on Nov. 18, 2010. The baby was taken from Lufkin Memorial Hospital to a Houston hospital.

Police determined the injury took place on the 600 block of Finley Avenue and officers went there to speak to Villanueva, who had been babysitting the baby when the injury occurred.

Smith said the babysitter claimed the baby fell to the floor from a bed. According to a previous KTRE report, the baby fell onto a cement floor.

Smith said the baby died on Nov. 24, 2010, after being removed from a ventilator.

The grand jury indictment lists Nov. 18, 2010, as the offense date.

Smith said a warrant for injury to a child was obtained for Villanueva on March 23, 2011.

Villanueva was one of seven people indicted on murder charges on Thursday.

Jacob Woodard, 19, Jesus Vela, 18, Gerardo Renteria, 20, Rafael Orta Jr., 20, and Osvaldo Hernandez, 18, are each charged with capital murder in the death of Robert Darnell Bennett, who was found shot to death at his home on Feb. 7. Lufkin Police believe the five came to the house to rob Bennett of marijuana when one of them shot him.

Rodney Evan Sheperd, 44, is charged with murder in the death of Frederic Gilmore. Police believe Sheperd stabbed Gilmore in the neck during an argument at a house located on Rowe Avenue.

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