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‘This is not justice’: Father’s ex-girlfriend gets chance at parole after beating 5-year-old to death during quarantine

Theresa Balboa beat 5-year-old Samuel Olson to death, authorities said. (Images: Harris County District Attorney's Office)

Theresa Balboa beat 5-year-old Samuel Olson to death, authorities said. (Images: Harris County District Attorney’s Office)

A Texas woman was sentenced to 52 years in prison after she pleaded guilty to murdering the 5-year-old son of her ex-boyfriend, beating the child to death with a “blunt object” during COVID-19 quarantine. The defendant Theresa Raye Balboa, 31, has the chance at parole once she serves half the term.

Sarah Olson, the mother of victim Samuel Olson, voiced outrage that the defendant will have the opportunity to get out of prison.

“Today, she admitted to what she did for 52 years and the chance of parole in 26,” she said after the hearing, according to KTRK. “My son didn’t even get six years of life, and she still gets a chance at one? This is not justice.”

The story when Balboa reported Samuel missing soon began to unravel as the defendant tried to pin the boy’s disappearance on his own mother. Cops said that Balboa claimed that she gave over the child to the biological mother at the behest of a police officer, who threatened to arrest her.

“I was going to take Sam to school when his mother showed up with the police officer, or who I was under the impression to be a police officer, and they demanded me to release Sam,” Balboa told KTRK in a June 1, 2021 report.

Documents show, however, that officers found surveillance footage of Sarah Olson at her own residence at the time of the purported encounter. Balboa said she could not explain or did not know why this was the case, officers said.

Officers said that the defendant recruited her roommate Benjamin Rivera in moving Samuel’s body to a storage unit after he was killed. Samuel’s remains were eventually found in a hotel room in Jasper, Texas, according to prosecutors in Harris County.

“You took my life,” Sarah Olson reportedly said during the victim impact statement. “I can never have closure because of the state the body was returned in. I could not hold him one last time.”

Olson died before his sixth birthday.

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The evidence tampering case against Rivera is ongoing, records show. He is scheduled for a hearing to take place on July 19.

KTRK described Samuel’s father, Dalton Olson, as visibly angry in court and that he sat with clenched fists. He stepped out before the victim impact statements.

“Why?” Dalton Olson previously said, addressing Balboa through a 2021 report from KPRC. “He loved you so much. I do not understand what happened. Why did you, why did you do this?”

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