San Antonio/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on April 19, 2024
San Antonio Stepmom Sentenced to 25 Years for Fatal Starvation of 4-Year-OldSource: Unsplash/ Larry Farr

A San Antonio woman has been sentenced to a quarter-century behind bars after being found guilty of a particularly heinous act – starving her 4-year-old stepson to death. Miranda Casarez, 25, was handed a 25-year prison sentence following the verdict delivered by a Bexar County jury, reported FOX San Antonio.

Jurors needed only a brisk hour to decide, according to KSAT, to find Casarez guilty in the starvation death of Benjamin "Benji" Cervera. The child's plight was brought to light in August 2021 after a nurse at Children's Hospital of San Antonio discovered the boy severely underweight and bruised. Despite recordings presented during the trial where Benji could be seen crying and begging for food, Casarez deflected responsibility, pushing blame onto the child’s father, Brandon Cervera.

District Attorney Joe Gonzales described the case as horrible and unconscionable and highlighted the urgency of justice for kids who fall victim to such neglect. Casarez's lawyer, Anthony Cantrell, attempted to convince the jury of her innocence, claiming she recorded the videos of Benji to solicit help from his father. "It's one of the few cases [where] I 100% believe my client is innocent," Cantrell told FOX San Antonio. They plan to appeal the sentence.

At her trial, Casarez pleaded with jurors to most compassionately consider probation, stating, “If you could trade your life for Benji's life, would you do that?" to which she replied "Yes," during an emotional testimony FOX San Antonio reported. Nonetheless, the court remained unpersuaded, her plea falling on deaf ears. After sentencing, the piercing words of Benji’s Aunt Amy Flores Zepeda were read aloud: "I will never forgive you," visibly impacting those in attendance.

Benji's biological father awaits his day in court to face charges related to the tragic death.