Texas woman pleads guilty to 52-year sentence in death of five-year-old boy

A woman on Wednesday agreed to a 52-year sentence after pleading guilty to killing her Houston boyfriend’s 5-year-old son in 2021, whose body she hid in a storage room before he was taken to a downtown hotel East Texas was discovered. according to the prosecutor.

During a court hearing, Theresa Balboa, 31, pleaded guilty to murder in the death of Samuel Olson. Her plea was part of an agreement with prosecutors that reduced the charge against her from murder to murder.

“This woman stole the world from a little boy with a big smile and a bright future, and there doesn’t exist a long enough prison sentence for someone like her,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in a statement.

Anthony Osso, Balboa’s attorney, said his client could be paroled after serving half of her sentence.

“She didn’t want to bring the victim’s family to justice, nor did she want to risk dying in prison ultimately. With this alternative, she has light at the end of the tunnel,” Osso said in a telephone interview after the hearing.

Texas dad doesn’t think mom should be charged after 5-year-old dies in hot car

Balboa said nothing during Wednesday’s court hearing.

Sarah Olson, Samuel’s mother, did not approve of the prison sentence Balboa received.

“Today she admitted what she did for 52 years and the chance of parole in 26 years. My son didn’t even get six years of age and she still has a chance of one? That’s not justice,” Sarah Olson told reporters after the hearing.


Theresa Raye Balboa is pictured in this undated Houston Police Department booking photo. (Houston Police Department via AP, file)

Andy Kahan, Houston-based director of victim services and advocacy for Crime Stoppers, said he and others would oppose any effort to get Balboa released on parole

“And 26 years from now, God forbid, we’re going to be there and make sure she never breathes free air again,” Kahan said.


Prosecutors said Balboa, who was dating Samuel’s father, observed the boy in her suburban Houston apartment as she hit him with a “blunt object” on May 12, 2021. Samuel would have been 6 years old on May 29, 2021.

According to prosecutors, neither the weapon used to kill the boy nor a motive for his death have been identified.

Balboa reported Samuel missing on May 27, 2021, initially claiming that the boy’s mother and a man posing as a police officer took the boy away. Samuel’s parents have been embroiled in a bitter custody battle since filing for divorce in January 2020.

Authorities said Samuel’s body was kept in a bathtub at Balboa’s apartment until she and her roommate placed it in a plastic bag and hid it in a storage room. The body was later taken to a motel in Jasper, about 135 miles northeast of Houston.

Balboa’s roommate and a friend who helped her transport the body to the Jasper motel were each charged with evidence tampering.

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