Nadal sentenced to 99 years in prison

August 17, 2009 8:50:14 PM PDT
A jury Monday night sentenced a local mother to 99 years in prison for mutilating her infant son. That same jury found the woman guilty on Friday. Jurors deliberated for about two hours Monday night at the Harris County Courthouse in the sentencing phase of the trial. There was a lot of attention and a lot of emotion in the courtroom.

Katherine Nadal was convicted last week of causing bodily injury to a child. Her son was just five weeks old when prosecutors say she mutilated him by severing his genitals.

She shook her head as the sentence was read, denying that she hurt her son, but she showed no remorse as she received the 99-year prison sentence and a $10,000 fine.

"She has always maintained that she did not do anything wrong, except perhaps not being alert enough as a caretaker. She's always denied that she did anything to him (her son)," said Nadal's attorney Allen Isbell.

There were a lot of tears in the courtroom and it was a case that shook even seasoned of prosecutors.

"I have kids and if you met the boy, you would be amazed that this little boy is even with us. He's very bright, he's very funny, and very unaware of his predicament. It just makes me sad," said Harris County Assistant District Attorney Tammy Thomas.

Just to give you an idea of the emotions in the courtroom, the biological father of the child stormed outside shortly after the verdict was read.

There was also a verbal exchange between Nadal and the biological father when the father said, "I can't believe you still deny hurting him."

Nadal replied, "I failed him, but I did not hurt him."

The mother and biological father both relinquish their rights and an aunt of the child is now the boy's legal guardian. The now two-and-a-half year old is expected to go through many more surgeries throughout his lifetime.

As for Nadal, she will be eligible for parole in 30 years.

Earlier on Monday

The prosecution spent a good portion of Monday morning telling jurors what they couldn't say about Nadal during the criminal portion of the trial. This being the punishment phase, the prosecution focused on Nadal's history, specifically showing a video made by the Baytown Police Department while she was pregnant with the child who was at the center of her mutilation trial.

In the video, Nadal is in constant motion, fidgeting and talking nonstop, at times rambling. Police became suspicious and ask about it.

"Have you been drinking today?" an officer is heard on the video asking Nadal.

"Have I been drinking today?" Nadal asked. "I drank earlier today."

The video was shot in November of 2006, nearly four months before Nadal's claim a dog mutilated her infant son. At the time of the recording, Nadal was being questioned about her involvement in an injury to a male acquaintance. In the video, she admits to drinking alcohol and taking prescription methadone earlier that day.

After the tape was stopped, prosecutor Tammy Thomas asks Baytown police officer J.R. Miller, "Did she tell you she was six months pregnant at the time she talked on tape?"

"She did not," answered Officer Miller.

Most emotional was the testimony of the victim's aunt, Patches DeShayzo, who is sister to the victim's father. She and her husband are legal caretakers of the nearly 2-year-old boy. She described the extensive injuries of the child and when asked about the child's progress, answered, "We're getting there."

Prosecutors, who say Nadal deserves a life sentence because that's what she gave her son, also showed jurors photos of the baby's injuries.

When the defense got its turn during the sentencing phase Monday, jurors saw pictures of a pretty little girl. As a teenager, Katie Nadal was active in sports and cheerleading at Anahuac High School. Nadal's mother, Debbie Nadal, said her daughter became traumatized at the death of a friend and later turned to drugs. Nadal's drug use was noticeable a few years later. Also called by the defense was a former employer of Nadal, as well as Nadal's best friend.

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