A Texas woman will serve the rest of her life behind bars for murdering one of her young children who was bedridden.
On Wednesday, Lauren Kay Dean pleaded guilty to a charge of murder in connection with the death of 7-year-old Jordynn Barrera. A judge sentenced Dean to life in prison plus 20 years for two additional counts of abandonment endangering a child.
Jordynn Found Dead When Police Performed a Welfare Check
on January 30, 2020, Dean Left Joydynn and her two other children, a 3-month-old and a 5-year-old, alone in the family's Bay City apartment to visit a bar, prosecutors alleged. Barrera had been diagnosed with Down syndrome and cerebral palsy and was non-communicative. She required a feeding tube and care around the clock.
Bay City police were called to conduct a welfare check at the woman's apartment the following day, and when an officer arrived at the unit, Dean was home. A witness in the apartment complex had called CPS the previous midnight to do a welfare check on the kids being left alone, according to the charging document.
Investigators said Dean invited an officer into the apartment to show them that the children were fine, but Jordynn was found deceased.
Dean Pleaded Guilty to Avoid Death Penalty
Police arrested Dean and booked her into the Matagorda County Jail. At the time, she was initially charged with three second-degree felonies: endangering a child, abandonment, and imminent danger of bodily injury. She was later charged with capital murder of a person under the age of 10.
Prosecutors alleged that Barrera died because her mother left her to party with friends at the bar. Dean pleaded guilty to avoid a jury trial and the possibility of the death penalty, according to the Bay City Tribune.