HOUSTON (KTRK) --James River Lane in northwest Harris County is usually quiet, a sharp contrast to the day in February 2015, when investigators say Jenea Mungia attacked her four-year-old son. A Fed-Ex driver told investigators he saw Mungia stab and mutilate the boy before slamming him onto the driveway. The delivery driver stopped to help the child.
On Friday, a judge decided Mungia was not guilty of any crime by reason of insanity.
"Later on, once she was under a doctor's care and she was receiving treatment, she came to some realization she was stunned by it all and she was hurt deeply by it all," said public defender, Eric Davis.
Doctors for both the prosecution and the defense agreed that Mungia was mentally ill as well as insane the day of the attack, and the judge ordered her to go to Vernon State Hospital. There is no bed available right now so the DA's office said she will be released and under the strict supervision of doctors for now.
We talked to a half dozen neighbors in the area who said they were shocked, including one that did not want to identify herself.
The neighbor told us, "as a mother, how do you do this to your own child? It's hard to comprehend."
We made a visit to where the little boy now stays with his father and his side of the family. They say the child is doing well, despite the intense trauma of what happened. They have mixed feelings about the verdict, and told Eyewitness News it hard to accept that Mungia won't be sentenced for a crime. However, the boy's aunt, Maria Salazar, agreed Mungia had shown signs of mental illness.
"I guess she does need help, that's the judge's decision," said Salazar. "Hopefully she gets help."
Salazar said initially the family thought the boy would not survive the attack.
"The doctor told us he was probably not going to make it and it was really sad, really hard for us to hear that," she said.
The little boy was happily riding his bike around the neighborhood Friday afternoon, playing like any other child and not showing any signs of the trauma he has overcome. Mungia's attorney said she has no relationship with her child.
"Sometimes he says he still loves her but he doesn't know actually what really she did to him," Salazar explained.