2 charged with capital murder after child’s death

Samantha Dawn Mathis and Robert Jose Garza Jr. (Source: Levelland Police Department) Middle...
Samantha Dawn Mathis and Robert Jose Garza Jr. (Source: Levelland Police Department) Middle photo: Elijah Lebario, source: Family members(Levelland Police Department and Family members)
Updated: Feb. 11, 2020 at 4:43 PM CST
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LEVELLAND, Texas (KCBD) - A mother and her boyfriend have been arrested and charged with capital murder after a 3-year-old boy was taken to the hospital and died from his injuries. Levelland police say they were called to the Levelland Covenant Hospital to investigate.

The 3-year-old male, Elijah Lebario, had severe bruising on most of his body and had an internal body temperature of 81 degrees when he was brought in.

During the investigation police learned, the child’s mother, now identified as Samantha Dawn Mathis, 25, of Levelland, and her boyfriend, Robert Garza Jr. both assaulted Elijah.

Due to the extensive injuries of the child, he was taken to University Medical Center in Lubbock for further treatment. When he arrived, he was taken to the operating room and was pronounced deceased.

Mathis was taken into custody by the Levelland Police Department and later charged with capitol murder. An arrest warrant was obtained for Robert Garza Jr for the offense of capitol murder. Garza was later found at a residence in the 400 block of North College Ave in Levelland where he was taken into custody without incident.

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services DFPS (CPS) was also contacted to assist in the investigation by interviewing and assessing the condition of the 4-year-old brother. Levelland police was contacted after their assessment and advised he too had injuries. The brother was taken to a Lubbock hospital and has since been released to family members. He was placed with the family, but without his clothing or necessities. The funeral has been paid for by a generous donor.

The family has set up a GoFundMe account to help with the expenses that are above and beyond the cost of the funeral for Elijah. If you would like to donate, click here.

The funeral services for 2-year-old Elijah Lebario of Levelland will be held Thursday, February 13, at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Levelland.

Both Mathis and Garza have been charged with capital murder and are being held on $500,000 bonds each. Additional charges for the two are pending.

Related Link: UPDATE: Levelland PD locates subject related to capital murder warrant

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