- Theresa Balboa pleads guilty to murder of 5-year-old child.
- Samuel Olson was her boyfriend’s son.
- She was sentenced to 52 years behind bars.
Theresa Balboa pleads guilty to murder in Houston, Texas. She was sentenced to 52 years in prison for the beating death of five-year-old Samuel Olson. On the morning of Wednesday, May 17, 2023, Theresa Balboa entered the courtroom of Judge Hazel B. Jones of the 174th Criminal District Court in Harris County to hear her sentence.
Theresa Balboa, 31, was charged with capital murder, which in Texas is the only crime punishable by death. However, Balboa made a plea deal. Judge Jones declared that she will be eligible for parole in 26 years.
Is Theresa Balboa’s sentence for killing Samuel Olson fair?
Theresa Balboa’s crime shocked the Houston community as details of the little boy’s tragic death emerged. Samuel Olson died of severe blunt trauma to the head, according to case documents consulted by MundoNow in Texas.
At the time of writing this story, Theresa Balboa is in jail in Harris County waiting to be transferred to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), where she will spend at least the next 26 years.
«She not only took Samuel’s life, she also took mine»
Sarah Olson, the mother of the murdered little boy, asked to address the court after hearing the sentence. On the verge of tears, she complained the sentence was too lenient.
“Today, she admitted to what she did for 52 years and the chance of parole in 26. My son didn’t even get six years of life, and she still gets a chance at one? This is not justice. She not only took Samuel’s life, she took mine too» said Sarah Olson. After her words, there was a heavy silence inside the courtroom.
Balboa’s accomplice revealed all the details of the crime
According to the case documents, the testimony of Benjamín D. Rivera, an accomplice of Theresa Balboa, is truly disturbing. He stated, on Monday May 10, 2021, Theresa Balboa called him and told him that Samuel Olson, her boyfriend’s son was dead. However, she did not tell him what happened.
Rivera and Balboa were roommates. He returned to their apartment in Webster, Texas after work and saw the unconscious toddler in Balboa’s bed. According to Rivera, the little boy had bruises on his body.
Authorities in Houston investigated the disappearance of Samuel Olson
From there the story begins to get complicated, because police discovered that Theresa Balboa kept the child’s body in her house for some period of time. Balboa then took the body to a warehouse wrapped in a plastic bag Rivera bought at a Walmart.
Detectives from the Missing Persons Division of the Houston Police Department (HPD) began investigating Samuel Olson’s disappearance on Thursday, May 27, 2021. Theresa Balboa was the girlfriend of Dalton Olson, the boy’s father, and she was the last person the little boy was seen alive with.
Theresa Balboa said the child’s mother had picked him up
Initially, Theresa Balboa stated that Sarah Olson, the little boy’s mother, had taken him from her on the street. According to Balboa, she was accompanied by a police officer, although she did not say which department. HPD never found any evidence of this.
The disappearance of little Samuel Olson made headlines in Houston, Texas for days. Hundreds of volunteers took to the country roads, drains and forests to search for the missing child. Theresa Balboa stood firm in her testimony.
Samuel Olson was found wrapped in a plastic bag at a motel
According to Rivera’s later testimony, on Thursday, May 13, he bought packing tape and an industrial bag at the local Walmart and Theresa Balboa wrapped little Samuel Olson’s body in plastic. They then put it in the industrial bag, loaded it into the trunk of his car, and took it to a warehouse on Highway 3 in Webster, Texas.
For some reason that only Benjamín D. Rivera knows, perhaps motivated by a feeling of guilt, he called Houston Crime Stoppers on Tuesday, June 1, 2021 to reveal that Theresa Balboa was hiding in a motel in Jasper, Texas, with the body of little Samuel Olson in the bathtub.
Theresa Balboa is captured with the little boy’s body
At 5:00 p.m. on that Tuesday, the Jasper Police Department (JPD) received an alert from Crime Stoppers of Houston, saying that someone had called them to say that Balboa was in a motel with Samuel Olson’s body.
The JPD officers surrounded the Best Western motel and spoke with the managers who confirmed that a woman had checked in with a man on Monday, May 31, 2021 and they said they were from Houston.
After 2 years, Theresa Balboa is sentenced
The JPD officers who had surrounded the Best Western motel in Jasper asked the managers to show them videos of the two guests checking in. They saw Theresa Balboa and Benjamín Rivera unload an industrial bag from a truck and bring it into the room, on the night of Monday, May 31.
According to police, the man then got into an altercation with Theresa Balboa, left the hotel and turned her in. The man claims to this day that he does not know how the child died. However, his testimony was key to incriminating Theresa Balboa.