Tyler Woman Who Killed Son Pleas Guilty To Murder; Gets 30 Years - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

05/09/08 - Tyler

Tyler Woman Who Killed Son Pleas Guilty To Murder; Gets 30 Years

Catherine Stevens Catherine Stevens

A Tyler woman who confessed to killing her two year old son has pled guilty to first-degree murder Friday.

She had been charged with capital murder, but pled guilty to the lesser charge. She had originally pled insanity, but withdrew that plea Friday.

Catherine Alana Stevens, 40, confessed to detectives the night of the incident that she had strangled her son.

The son's father found Stevens over her son's body and called the police.

Officers had been to the residence numerous times in response to Stevens, who had been under psychiatric care and suffered from mental health problems for several years.

Multiple doctors and health professionals found Stevens competent to stand trial. After the judge agreed Stevens was competent, he accepted her guilty plea and sentenced her to life in prison. Stevens won't  be eligible for parole for 30 years.

Smith County District Attorney Matt Bingham said this was an outstanding outcome for the community, for the two year old vicitm in this case, and for his office.

"She is an individual that had a history of mental illness, but was not insane at time she committed the offense," said Bingham.

"When you look at the history of mothers who have killed their children and claimed to be insane, they were never held accountable for it criminally. They go to a mental institution and don't stay there long, and [are then] released back into the community. Finally we have a case where a mother has killed child, claimed to be insane, and then been able to show in fact she was not and hold her accountable for it."

Bingham said it was a good resolution, and as much justice as they could have gotten for Stevens' young son.

Danielle Capper, reporting. dcapper@kltv.com

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