Tomball Woman Sentenced to 50 Years for Murder of Boyfriend’s 4-year-old Daughter

Tomball Woman Sentenced to 50 Years for Murder of Boyfriend’s 4-year-old Daughter
Shawna Hooey and Jakyzia Alexander (victim)

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced this week that a 33-year-old Tomball woman, Shawna Hooey, has been sentenced to 50 years in prison for the 2019 murder of her boyfriend’s 4-year-old daughter, Jakyzia Alexander.

“We have to work together as a community to protect our children who are particularly vulnerable to abuse from violent adults,” Ogg said. “We are thankful to the jurors who recognized that this was not a single incident, but a pattern of abuse and rightfully sentenced this woman to spend decades behind bars.”

Jakyzia’s father had sole custody of his daughter and worked nights. The little girl began living with Hooey and her children in a four-bedroom home in Tomball after Jakyzia’s father started dating Hooey.

Because of his work schedule, Jakyzia’s father stayed with family members who lived closer to his job and seldom saw his daughter. He did not see her for at least two months before her death, except through video calls.

The incident unfolded when Hooey, responsible for caring for 4-year-old and her own 5 children, took the child to a 24-hour emergency center on September 7, 2019. Jakyzia was deceased upon arrival, with visible injuries including a black eye. The child’s body was already cold.

During the investigation, Hooey provided conflicting accounts of the events leading to the child’s death, including claims that the girl had injured herself days prior. In one version, she said that the child ran into a doorknob and another that the girl threw herself against a toilet paper holder in the bathroom.

In her accounts, Hooey said the injury happened two days before she took Jakyzia to the emergency room, and that the girl had been acting normally since it happened. However, further examination revealed signs of repeated abuse, leading to the conclusion that the fatal injury was inflicted by blunt force trauma to the head.

The injury that killed the child would have resulted in seizures, vomiting and dazed reactions almost immediately.

Following a nine-day trial, a Harris County jury found Hooey guilty of murder and sentenced her to 50 years in prison. Assistant District Attorney Gilbert Sawtelle, involved in the prosecution, emphasized the importance of recognizing and reporting child abuse to prevent similar tragedies.

“Child abuse does happen, and when we see it, we need to call it out and notify the police and child protective services,” Sawtelle said. “This girl was wearing long sleeves in the summertime—and if someone had noticed her injuries and intervened, she would probably still be here today.”

Hooey must serve at least half of the prison sentence before she will be eligible for parole.

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case.