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Theresa Balboa: Texas woman gets 52 years in prison for killing boyfriend's 5-year-old son, Samuel Olson

Theresa Balboa, 31, murdered Samuel Olson and hid his body inside a Jasper motel in 2021
UPDATED MAY 18, 2023
Theresa Balboa pleaded guilty to the murder of  5-year-old Samuel Olson (Houston Police Department)
Theresa Balboa pleaded guilty to the murder of 5-year-old Samuel Olson (Houston Police Department)

HOUSTON, TEXAS: A woman was sentenced to 52 years behind bars after she was found guilty in the 2021 murder of her ex-boyfriend's 5-year-old son. According to the prosecutors, the woman hid the child's corpse in a storage unit before it was found in an East Texas hotel. 

Theresa Balboa, 31, pleaded guilty to murder in the death of Samuel Olson during a court hearing. Her plea, being an agreement with prosecutors, helped her to reduce the charge against her from capital murder to murder. "This woman robbed the world of a little boy with a big smile and bright future, and there is no prison sentence long enough for someone like her," Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in a statement. 


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What did Theresa Balboa's attorney say?

Balboa’s attorney, Anthony Osso said that she will be eligible for parole after serving half her sentence. "She didn’t want to put the victim’s family through a trial, nor did she want to risk dying in prison ultimately. She has some light at the end of the tunnel with this alternative," Osso said in a telephone interview after the hearing, Fox News reports. Balboa remained quiet during the entire hearing on Wednesday, May 17. 

What did Samuel Olson's mom say?

Samuel's mother, Sarah Olson was disappointed to see the prison sentence Balboa received. "Today she admitted to what she did, for 52 years and the chance of parole in 26. My son did not even get six years of life and she still gets a chance at one? This is not justice," Sarah Olson told following the hearing.

 The director of victim services and advocacy for Crime Stoppers of Houston, Andy Kahan said that he and others will fight against any attempts to release Balboa on parole. "And 26 years from now, God forbid, we’ll be there and make sure that she never breathes free air again," Kahan said.

What happened to Samuel Olson?

.A "blunt object" was allegedly used by Balboa, who was at the time dating Samuel's father, to strike the boy on May 12, 2021, as she was watching over him at her suburban Houston residence. On May 29, 2021, Samuel would have turned six. According to the prosecution, neither the murder's motive nor the murder weapon was ever discovered.

Balboa reported Samuel missing on May 27, 2021. She first asserted that the youngster was taken by his biological mother and a man who pretended to be a police officer. Samuel's parents have been fighting over custody of Samuel ever since they announced their divorce in January 2020. Authorities said the 5-year-old's lifeless body was kept in a bathtub at Balboa’s apartment before Balboa and her roommate put it in a plastic tote and hid it in a storage unit. 

His body was later moved to a motel in Jasper, about 135 miles northeast of Houston. Balboa’s roommate and a friend who helped to move Samuel's body to the motel were each charged with evidence tampering counts.