Truvia case may wrap-up soon - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Truvia case may wrap-up soon

By Taylor Hemness - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) – The case of a Tyler teenager, accused of stabbing his teacher, may be wrapping up.

In court on Wednesday, 17-year-old Byron Truvia was ruled unfit to proceed. Truvia is accused of killing John Tyler special education teacher, Todd Henry back in 2009.

Truvia is now on his way to Vernon State Hospital for a 90-day mental evaluation.

Geniece Truvia, Byron's older sister, says she last saw her brother on Monday, "Looking like he's accomplishing better than what he used to. Functioning well,"

She agrees Byron's mental state isn't where it used to be. Geniece says he was a fairly normal teenager before the family relocated to Tyler from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

It's been almost a year and a half since authorities say Truvia took a kitchen knife and stabbed Todd Henry to death.

Jim Huggler, Truvia's attorney says, "Given the history, given the fact that this child, whose mom has been trying to get him help since kindergarten, and has been in and out of different treatment facilities for 13 years now. It's just amazing that we had to go this far before we'd get to this result."

We're told Byron's been moved from the Smith County Juvenile Attention Center to Vernon State Hospital at least three times since his arrest.

The State and Defense agreed, he should be evaluated for long-term commitment, after a psychologist concluded that Truvia is mentally ill.

"Byron is so mentally ill, that he is both a danger… unfit, and cannot even evaluate his intellectual abilities at this point," says Tonda Curry, Smith County prosecutor.

"It's not over for Byron," Curry said, "But he's going to be locked up in a facility where treatment is going to be available."

Todd Henry's widow, Jan Henry, says that Truvia does not belong in prison for the rest of his life, "I just don't want him where he could hurt anybody ever again."

"He's a human being, but his brain's messed up. Nobody listened when they cried for help. Nobody ever listened to him, so he got out of control," expressed Jan.

Geniece says, "I don't know when he's going to get out or when I'm going to actually get to hold, you know, hug him… get him into my arms."

"I will keep praying for the Todd Henry family, and I just wish everybody the best," Geniece expressed.

After the 90-day evaluation, the court could order Truvia committed for up to a year, with yearly evaluations following that commitment.

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