Son of Galveston ISD teacher sentenced to 45 years in prison for stabbing his 61-year-old mother to death: DA

Gregory Paul Hartnett (Galveston Police Department, Galveston Police Department)

GALVESTON – A 33-year-old man was sentenced to 45 years in prison for the fatal stabbing of his 61-year-old mother, according to the Galveston County District Attorney’s Office.

Gregory Paul Hartnett Jr., 32, of Galveston, plead guilty in the stabbing the death of his mother, a long-time bilingual instructor for the Galveston Independent School District.

On June 28, 2021, officers responded to a call around 9:08 a.m. about a possible assault in progress in the 2800 block of Pine Street.

Police said Desiree Hartnett was found lying unconscious with severe injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. Police said a witness told investigators that she and her son were engaged in an argument that turned physical. Police said Hartnett Jr. fled the scene but was found a short time later in the 2600 block of Pine Street.

Desiree Hartnett (Copyright 2021 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

Beloved teacher remembered by colleagues and students: “She was very, very beloved in the community. She was a hidden treasure.”

During the investigation, it was also revealed that the victim’s 11-year-old grandson had watched his father stab his grandmother and had called his grandfather for help.

Prosecutors said Gregory Hartnett, Sr. rushed home, only to find his wife unresponsive with stab wounds.

During the trial, officers recalled finding two kitchen knives and a machete in the bedroom where the stabbing happened. Officers and crime scene investigators said it was the worst crime scene any of them had processed in their careers, with blood spatter located on all the walls and the ceiling of the bedroom.

Prosecutors said the son’s clothes were soaked in his mother’s blood at the time of his arrest. He also admitted to killing his mother to a deputy while in the jail.

Hartnett agreed to plead guilty and accept a 45-year prison sentence. The plea avoids the need for the child witness to testify. Under Texas law, Hartnett will be eligible for parole after serving half of his sentence.

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