Plano – A 25-year-old woman is accused of killing her fiancé's
two-year-old daughter within hours of being dumped by the girl's father.
Melinda M. has been charged with capital
murder after surveillance footage captured Melinda, with the two-year-old in
tow, shopping at a nearby dollar store where she bought zip ties, duct
tape, kitchen shears, and cotton swab – all tools for a forthcoming
staged home invasion.
Melinda had just been dumped by her fiancé after he found racy photos
and videos that she sent to her personal trainer. The night before the
toddler's murder, the victim's father discovered the inappropriate
photos and videos on Melinda's phone. She had apparently been texting
her trainer for about a month, which was around the same time that she
and her fiancé became engaged.
The morning after discovering the racy photos and videos, the fiancé
confronted Melinda about an explicit video he had found of her. He broke
off the engagement and told her to move out of their apartment.
He instructed her to sell her engagement ring to pay for a new vehicle
since he was going to take the Mercedes Benz in the breakup.
The toddler's father left for work and put his daughter in Melinda's
care, as he did every day before heading off to work.
Throughout the day, the girl's father texted Melinda about potential
daycare options for his daughter, since she would be needing childcare
after the breakup; Melinda did not respond to his texts. The father called
the police after he reached the defendant around 1 p.m. and she was screaming for help.
When police arrived to the scene, they found the two-year-old girl lying
unconscious in her crib, with her pants down and no underwear. Her mouth
was covered with duct tape. She died at a local hospital from suffocation,
according to the autopsy results.
Melinda lied to the police, telling them that an intruder had attacked
the two-year-old, and raped her (the defendant). The
Dallas Morning News reported that doctors had found no evidence of sexual assault for the
two-year-old victim, or the defendant.
After the police discovered surveillance footage of Melinda shopping at
the local dollar store with the little girl, where she bought the "home
invasion kit," she was arrested, and was ordered to be held in lieu
of $1 million bail.
Under Section 19.03, one of the ways that a person can be charged with
capital murder is if they kill a child under six years of age. In Texas,
capital murder is a capital felony, punishable by life imprisonment without
the possibility of parole, or the death sentence.
Are you facing homicide charges in Plano? Contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC
directly at (888) 493-6529, or fill out our
online case evaluation form.