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A Texas woman has been arrested after allegedly beating her 6-year-old to death with a studded belt as a punishment for wetting the bed.
Police arrived at the home of 40-year-old Jessica Bundren on Tuesday night to find Bundren’s 6-year-old stepdaughter on the floor of her room, covered with a sheet. The girl had bruises on her face and legs, as well as welts and small puncture marks on her torso, local news station KLTV reports. She wasn’t breathing and was soon pronounced dead.
Bundren allegedly told police she’d beat her daughter with a belt several times over the past two weeks as a punishment for wetting the bed, according to radio station WTAW. She also allegedly said she’d strike the girl six times for every incident and was making her sleep on the floor.
However, Bundren denied killing her daughter. Instead, Bundren claimed she’d sent her daughter to bed after she fell down the stairs earlier that evening, local station WLTX reports. She said that when she went to check on the girl that night, she’d stopped breathing, and Bundren didn’t know why.
While searching the house, police found a belt with metal rivets on one end that they said matched the injuries on the girl, local station KBTX-TV reports.
Bundren was arrested and charged with intentionally causing serious bodily injury to a child according to online arrest records. This is a first-degree felony under Texas law, punishable by up to 99 years in prison, the Bryan-College Station Eagle, a local newspaper, reports.
Bundren is a registered insurance broker in Bryan, Texas, according to service directory serve-now.com. She remained held on $150,000 bond as of Thursday afternoon.
It’s unclear whether she has an attorney who can comment on her behalf.
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