Boy pleads with stepdad for mom’s life during stabbing, affidavit says


Highlights

Authorities have accused Robert Degollado of fatally stabbing Emily Martinez Villarreal 18 times.

Three of the most recent homicide cases appear to involve family members or people living in the same home.

It was just before 2 a.m. Saturday when a distraught young boy sprinted down Sojourner Street in eastern Travis County, knocked on Carvelia Larroy’s door and told her that his stepfather was stabbing his mother.

“He ran up to us, and he was full of blood,” Larroy said, “and then his little brother came up to us, and his phone was full of blood, and he said, ‘He’s still stabbing my mom; please help her.’ ”

The boys’ mother, Emily Martinez Villarreal, 36, died later that night on her bedroom floor as Travis County sheriff’s deputies tried to resuscitate her, according to an arrest affidavit filed against the boys’ stepfather, 51-year-old Robert Degollado, who has been charged with murder.

Villarreal had been stabbed 18 times in the chest and arms, the affidavit said, and a steak knife was found on a bedside table.

According to the affidavit, deputies responded to the home in the Hornsby Bend neighborhood after one of the sons frantically called 911 around 1:45 a.m. to tell authorities that his stepfather was stabbing his mother, the affidavit said.

The boy at one point pleaded, “Robert, I love you; please stop” just before the call disconnected, according to the affidavit. The boy then ran to a neighbor’s house to ask for help, and the neighbor called authorities.

EYE ON CRIME: Click to receive our Crime and Safety Report by email every Monday

Degollado was still in the residence and covered in blood when deputies arrived, the affidavit said. Deputies said Degollado responded to every question with “I don’t know” or “I don’t remember.”

One of Villarreal’s sons told investigators that his mother and Degollado started talking when his mother returned home around 1 a.m. after going out with a friend. She told Degollado that she did not care for him anymore and was “going to find a new man,” the boy said. Degollado believed she was cheating on him, Villarreal’s son told deputies.

A son also told deputies that he saw Degollado get a knife from the kitchen before lying down next to his mother. Later, he heard his mother scream “stop” and entered the bedroom to see Degollado stabbing his mother, according to the affidavit.

Larroy said no one in her family has gotten much sleep since the incident. One of Villarreal’s sons was her son’s best friend. The boy and Larroy’s 12-year-old son, Nicholai Reyes, played football together, and Villarreal’s sons would often stay at Larroy’s house after school until their mother got home from work, she said.

Degollado “never let her go out much; she had kind of a sheltered life,” Larroy said. “They were kind of like roommates; they weren’t even together anymore.”

Nicholai’s mother said her son was worried he wouldn’t get to see his friend again.

On Sunday, Nicholai and other neighborhood kids went to the house to look at the sympathy candles and balloons that had been placed on the porch.

“It was strange because it felt like (Degollado) would never try to talk to us,” Nicholai said. “He was always quiet, in his garage listening to music or drinking beer. (Villarreal’s sons) were scared to go home; they’d only go home with their mom. … I think the little brother is going to be hit the worst. He was always with his mom.”

Degollado remained in the Travis County Jail on Sunday with bail set at $500,000.

Three of the most recent homicide cases investigated by the Travis County sheriff’s office also appear to involve family members or people living in the same home.

• Last summer, 60-year-old Steven Nurse was found dead in his home in late July. Within days, Nurse’s 24-year-old son, Skye McMillon, was charged with murder.

• Then in December, authorities said evidence suggested that 42-year-old Yariv Kaplan shot his 9-year-old daughter, Lielle, before turning the gun on himself in their southwestern Travis County home.

• A few weeks later, on Dec. 31, authorities said 48-year-old Charity Sunshine Ellis confessed to fatally shooting her fiancé at her western Travis County home after an argument over an unpaid utility bill. The death was the county’s 12th and last homicide case of 2017, the sheriff’s office said.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Summer heat means preparing for disease-carrying mosquitoes, ticks
Summer heat means preparing for disease-carrying mosquitoes, ticks

Mosquitoes and ticks are moving in for the summer as temperatures heat up, but Central Texas residents can take precautions. Why are they here? Mosquitoes and ticks like warm weather. Chris Van Deusen, spokesman for the Texas Department of State Health Services, said mosquitoes are more likely to breed now that temperatures are at least 90 degrees...
Long-awaited ACC campus about to open in Leander
Long-awaited ACC campus about to open in Leander

Leander has been waiting a long time for this. Thirty-three years after property owners in the Leander school district began paying taxes to Austin Community College, ACC is about to open a campus here. Dubbed San Gabriel, for the river fed by a nearby tributary, the campus will host a grand opening celebration Wednesday, with classes starting Aug...
Police: Officers who pointed guns at boys acted appropriately
Police: Officers who pointed guns at boys acted appropriately

Austin police officials say officers acted appropriately when they pointed their guns at two boys after receiving a report that one of them was pointing a weapon — which turned out to be a toy — at cars driving by their front yard. The officers’ response was troubling to one neighbor who shared video of the encounter with the American-Statesman...
At UT, Linda Chanow makes a place for women in law
At UT, Linda Chanow makes a place for women in law

When Linda Bray Chanow arrived at the University of Texas Law School eight years ago to lead UT’s Center for Women in Law, only one alumna was pictured on the stately walls of the school’s first floor, which serves as a sort of UT legal hall of fame. “Alice Sheffield was in a place where many students didn’t see her,”...
Mexican voters in Texas weigh who will be future president of Mexico
Mexican voters in Texas weigh who will be future president of Mexico

Rossy Lima de Padilla, 31, has no plans of ever returning to live in Mexico. In fact the thought of living in Mexico after being in Texas for the last 18 years gives her mini panic attacks. But Lima de Padilla, a recipient of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status, is sure of one thing: She will vote for the first time in the upcoming...
More Stories