Tommy Castro and Kristina Earnest were both convicted in the death of Earnest’s daughter, Kati Earnest, 5. Kati Earnest’s grandmother recently described how her granddaughter died of a brutal beating by Castro.
Shelley Flatt-Blevins, 48, of Amarillo, Texas, who is the mother of Kati’s father, Nelson Caldwell Junior, claims that Castro beat Kati while Kristina stood by and refused to intervene. Kristina told lawyers she was afraid that she would make Castro ever angrier by trying to stop him.
During police questioning, Kristina claimed that her daughter drowned in the bathtub. Police asked Kristina why her daughter had bruises on her face. According to the Mirror, she replied, “She was bullied at nursery.”
A few days later, Kristina and Castro were arrested. Flatt-Blevins said, “I learnt from police that an autopsy on Kati’s body indicated she’d died of blunt force trauma and hadn’t drowned.”
“I then learnt that Kristi had confessed to her own daughter’s murder," Flatt-Blevins continued. "I felt sick thinking about my precious little granddaughter.”
Flatt-Blevins described the 2010 trial, “Nelson and I were in court to watch Kristi, who was then 23, plead guilty to a charge of causing injury to a child by omission.
“During the court hearing I learnt that she’d stood by and watched while evil Castro viciously beat Kati black and blue," she added.
Kristina was sentenced to fifty years in prison. Her sentence was later reduced to 18 years.
In 2011, Castro was called to court. Flatt-Blevins returned to watch the proceedings.
“I sat in court and watched that monster as he told lie after lie about Kati," she said. "He denied killing her, said he was suffering from kidney stones when she died and was ‘out of it.'”
The jury heard that on July 4, 2009, Kati wet herself while in Castro’s sports car. He subsequently beat her with a wooden boat she had made in Sunday school.
According to documents, Castro punched her in the stomach repeatedly and then stepped on her abdomen.
“The severe beating damaged her internal organs," Flatt-Blevins said. "He then made her carry out military exercises – exercises meant for grown men.
“It was dreadful," she added. "She must have suffered. And all the time her mum watched and did nothing."
The jury then learned that Kati vomited before getting in the bathtub where she died.
The jury took only eight minutes to sentence Castro to life in prison.
Flatt-Blevins did not agree with Kristina Earnest’s reduced sentence.
“It was decided by the court she had also been beaten by Castro, was a victim too," she said. "I don’t agree and think she should never be freed. As Kati's mother, it was her job to protect her.”