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Mathis, Garza indicted for capital murder

Robert Garza, Jr., 30 and Samantha Mathis, 25. (Photos courtesy of the Hockley County Sheriff’s Department)

A Hockley County grand jury indicted both Samantha Mathis, 25, and her boyfriend, Robert Garza, Jr., 30, Wednesday for capital murder.

Mathis and Garza were arrested by Levelland police following the death of Mathis’ 2-year-old child, Elijah Lebario, on February 4. The police report of the incident said Mathis brought Lebario to the emergency room at Covenant Health Levelland around 1:45 p.m. that day. Levelland Police Chief Albert Garcia said the child had various injuries when he was brought in and the child was transported to University Medical Center in Lubbock where he later died.

Investigators conducted interviews with the child’s mother, who was identified as Mathis, along with other family members. During that time, police learned the child had been assaulted by both the mother and her boyfriend, Garcia said.

Mathis was arrested and an arrest warrant was issued for Garza. He was arrested at a residence in the 400 block of N. College Avenue around 9:30 p.m. on February 4. Their bonds were set at $500,000 each for a charge of capital murder of a person younger than 10.

Both individuals were also indicted for injury to a child. The charge was added for both Mathis and Garza after it was discovered that Mathis’ 4-year-old son also had injuries. The 4-year-old boy was transported to University Medical Center where he was treated and released, according to police. Their bonds were set at $50,000 each for the charge. Both remain at the Hockley County Jail.

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