HOUSTON – A man charged with capital murder in the death of his 9-month-old daughter was scheduled to appear before a magistrate judge Tuesday.
While Luis Luna, 23, did not appear in court because he was listed in the mental health unit, his scheduled probable cause hearing took place. Luna is accused of killing his 9-month-old daughter Savayah Mason on Aug. 24. The girl, according to details of an autopsy report cited in court, was also sexually assaulted at the time of her death.
Harris County Sheriff’s deputies responded to an apartment complex in the 15000 block of Westpark at 12:20 a.m. regarding an unresponsive infant.
Luna lived at the apartment with his three brothers, court documents reveal. The baby’s mother dropped her off at the apartment on Aug. 21, according to prosecutors. Luna told investigators Savayah never left his sight when she was staying with him, prosecutors said.
After the baby died, investigators determined Luna was responsible for his daughter’s death, according to court documents. He was charged with capital murder and taken into custody Monday night.
Officials say Luna claimed he awoke to find his daughter unresponsive and tried to administer CPR. Luna told investigators the baby slept in her car seat next to his air mattress, court documents reveal.
“When he laid her down, he buckled the straps the same way as if she was riding in a vehicle and believed he may have had the straps too tight and that maybe is what caused her death,” officials said in magistrate court Tuesday.
An autopsy found the baby’s asphyxiation to have occurred during a sexual assault, according to prosecutors, who cited other evidence recovered when a search warrant was executed the day after her death.
“Officers executed a search warrant on the 25 at the defendant’s residence located bloody baby wipes in a garbage bag in the sun room where the defendant was sleeping with the complainant. There was no diaper in the bag where the wipes were recovered,” probable cause alleged.
A magistrate judge opted not to rule on whether to issue a bond and instead deferred the decision to a criminal district court. A new court date was not set Tuesday.