Samuel Olson Murder: Accused killer, Theresa Balboa sentenced to prison

A woman has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the case of 5-year-old Samuel Olson’s death

PREVIOUS: Theresa Balboa charged with capital murder in Samuel Olson case

During her court appearance Wednesday, Theresa Balboa, 31, was initially facing life in prison without parole for capital murder. However, she accepted a plea deal to serve 52 years in prison. 

Balboa is the one who apparently called the police about the little boy’s disappearance in May 2021, but investigators later found she lied about the whole thing. This, in turn, prompted a massive search effort from Texas EquuSearch. 

"To undergo the sheer torture that he had to go through and then have someone lie and bring members of Texas EquuSearch pretend for days, taking up their time and resources that they had to expand, all knowing that this was all a bunch of B.S.," said Andy Kahan with CrimeStoppers. 

Authorities say Samuel was killed just days before his 6th birthday by "blunt force trauma to his head." Court records state Balboa was taking care of Samuel at her apartment in Webster. His father, Dalton, was reportedly dating Balboa at the time. 

DISTURBING DETAILS: Affidavit reveals 5-year-old Samuel Olson’s decomposed body was carried around for weeks

Moments after hitting the 5-year-old, she took his body to a storage unit, where he stayed for 10 days. About nine days later, investigators said Balboa wrapped Samuel's remains in a plastic bin and took it to a hotel in Jasper, where his decomposed body was found (as well as Balboa) the next day by Houston PD and the Texas Rangers. 

"When you have a 5-year-old boy that couldn’t defend himself, couldn’t run, couldn’t scream, couldn’t do anything, and to me, this type of horrific cold-blooded, diabolical fate, is just unfathomable," Kahan added. "She deserves to never breathe free air again." 

Balboa will now spend at least 26 years in prison before she’s eligible for parole. 

ALSO: Theresa Balboa's bond at $600K total after $100K added for previous charge

Also in court Wednesday, was Samuel’s mom, Sarah, his father, Dalton, and his grandmother, Tonya. They were all visibly upset and even shaking. Samuel’s mother and grandmother delivered incendiary statements, where they spoke directly to Theresa referring to her as a "monster" who stole the 5-year-old life. 

"Two years ago my son went missing. For these past couple years, I have been bargaining with a murderer," Sarah Olson said. "She wanted less time. Today she admitted to what she did…for 52 years and a chance of parole in 26." 

"My son did not even get 6 years of life, and she still gets a chance at one?" she continued. This is not justice." 

Balboa and her attorney did not say anything after court Wednesday. Dylan Ray Walker, 28, was also found with Samuel's remains in Jasper and was later charged with tampering with intent to impair. Authorities later discovered he had called in a tip to CrimeStoppers, which led police to the motel. 

Balboa's roommate, Benjamin Rivera, was charged with tampering with evidence. Rivera is accused of helping Balboa move Samuel's body to a bathtub and eventually a storage unit. 

Rivera also told investigators he bought duct tape and that plastic bin from Walmart. Investigators found the receipt during a search warrant, according to court records.