LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A mother who killed her 7-year-old autistic son last year is expected to be sentenced Thursday morning.
Samantha Moreno-Rodriguez, 36, pleaded guilty to charges of murder and child abuse, neglect or endangerment resulting in substantial bodily harm, according to court documents.
As part of her plea deal, she will face a sentence of 28 years to life in prison. She will be eligible for parole after serving 20 years.
Moreno-Rodriguez was scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday morning, but her sentencing was pushed to Thursday morning after she failed to appear in court.
She killed her son, Liam Husted, and dumped his naked body near a trail in Mountain Springs near Las Vegas. Husted was found by hikers several feet off the trail behind a bush on May 28, 2021, investigators said.
Investigators believe that Moreno-Rodriguez and Liam had been hiking on the trail when she pushed him, causing him to fall and hit his head.
She later told investigators “that she also fell during this process and then after Liam fell and hit his head and started screaming, top of his lungs, louder than she had ever heard him scream before, and she wasn’t sure how to stop him from crying.”
She then strangled and killed him before removing his clothes, a prosecutor told a grand jury.
“Samantha indicated that she had watched television crime shows and thought that by removing his clothing, it would make it more difficult to associate him with her after she left the area,” the investigator said.
Liam’s clothes were never found.
Moreno-Rodriguez was later arrested in Denver on June 8 while having breakfast with a man she had met days earlier, police said.