State will not pursue death penalty for aunt of murdered Angelina Co. toddler

State will not pursue death penalty for aunt of murdered Angelina Co. toddler
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Prosecuting attorney April Perez announced in the 159th district court that the aunt charged in the capital murder of her three year-old nephew would not be facing the death penalty.

Billie Jean Cuttler and Bobby Woods Jr. are both facing capital murder charges in the death of Mason Cuttler. If guilty Cuttler faces life in prison without parole.

A family is troubled after one of their own is accused of being involved in the death of another. This experience has been nothing short of stressful.

"I'm just upset you know," Debra Cuttler, Billie Jeans mother said. "Losing a grandson, he was only three years old he didn't have a life, and I feel sorry for my son, Kevin Cuttler Jr, and his girlfriend Brandy."

Mason went missing on Aug. 17 around 1 p.m. He was found early the next morning in a pond owned by his family.

According to the arrest affidavit for Woods, Lieutenant Brett Maisel and Texas Ranger Steven Rayburn interviewed Woods, who said he took Mason to the pond and pushed him into the water and watched him as he began to drown and turned his back to him, making no attempt to rescue him, despite Mason's cries for help.

The affidavit states Woods said he wanted Mason to die because his girlfriend was pregnant and he wanted to make room in the home for his unborn child.

However Billie Jeans's attorney, Albert Charanza, told KTRE she was never pregnant.

Billie Jean's family believes she had nothing to do with Mason's death.

"Billie Jean didn't do nothing, she wouldn't do it," Debra Cuttler, Billie Jeans mother said. "Her and Mason had a bond, they were very close."

Billie Jean's family remains hopeful of her return home after finding out the death penalty has been dismissed by Judge Paul White.

"I love her and I hope she comes home," Debra said."

"I want to tell her that I love her from the bottom of my heart and she's my baby girl," Kevin Cuttler, Billie Jean's father said.

The defense wants to look into her state of mind because they strongly believe she has intellectual disabilities.

"I think they need to evaluate her a little more," Kevin said.

Angelina County Sheriff Greg Sanches said that Billie Jean Cuttler, who is also Bobby Woods' girlfriend, was arrested in Leesville, Louisiana. The text of Cuttler's indictment states that she "knowingly and intentionally" caused Mason's death by "pushing him into a body of water, causing him to drown."

It was also announced that a doctor at the Angelina County Jail would evaluate the sanity and competency of Cuttler. Both sides were given 60 days to go through the statements made by Cuttler and Woods. The state suggested that there are between 20-30 hours of statements between the two.

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