UPDATE: Killeen woman sentenced to 2.5 years for death of toddler


UPDATE: 28-year-old Courtney Casanas has been sentenced to 2.5 years in prison after a jury found her guilty of criminally negligent homicide in the death of toddler Jaxson Reed on May 12, 2017.

During the sentencing phase of the trial, eight of Casanas’ friends and family took the stand, to speak about her character and the type of person she is.

Many saying they think she’s a great mother of six children and a great person.

They all tried to persuade the jury to give her probation instead of years in prison.

After they all testified, Casanas herself took the stand. In an emotional testimony she said there isn’t a single day that goes by that she doesn’t think of Jaxson.

“It was a big accident” said Casanas. “I apologize, I can’t change this and I’m sorry.”

Jaxson’s father Jeronte Reed as well as his mother Miranda Partridge also took the stand.

They said they are constantly reminded of him in everything they do.

“Nothing is ever going to be the same,” said Reed. “He might of been a football player, a scientist, or even the next president. But all those things are gone forever.”

The jury deliberated the sentence for about four hours. They met with Judge Paul Lepak and both attorneys on two occasions.

At about 4pm on Thursday, they came back with a sentence of 2 and a half years in prison.

Casanas is eligible for parole after serving half her sentence and with good behavior that time could be shortened.

Below is the previous text from this story:

Courtney Seleste Casanas was booked back into the Bell County Jail Wednesday after a 264th District Court Jury deliberated about four hours, then convicted her on criminally negligent homicide charges.

After the conviction, she was being held without bond.

The punishment phase of the trial began with testimony Thursday morning.

Casanas was charged in the death of 16-month-old Jaxson Reed who died after being on life support almost two months.

He had been found unresponsive in a car seat at the unlicensed home day care center operated by Casanas.

He had been placed in the car seat which was owned by his parents, while she vacuumed elsewhere in the house.

She said three childrend, including Jaxson, had gone to sleep while watching You Tube and she said she closed the door while they slept and went to prepare food and wash dishes.

She said she heard a child cry, went back to the bedroom and found Jaxson with a safety strap around his neck and not breathing.

During the initial interview Casanas says she had placed the child on top of the straps in the car seat, but during a third interview, 12 days later she admitted to having secured him only with two of the four straps — securing only the top half of his body.

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