Indictment: San Angelo man charged with Selena Bradley's death; plea hearing set
SAN ANGELO — Just over a month after the death of a San Angelo mother of two and her unborn child, a her boyfriend has been indicted in their deaths and tampering with the investigation, according to three court documents released Monday.
William James Hernandez, aka Martinez, 39, has been charged "under the information" documents in the Oct. 16, 2020, choking death of Selena Bradley, 23, and their unborn child, Xavier. He has also been indicted on suspicion of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence with intent to impair an investigation.
Before their deaths, Hernandez was also indicted with continuous sex abuse of a child younger than 14, two counts of sexual assault of a child and two counts of indecency with a child by sexual contact.
More about this case:'It's hard to believe she's really gone,' family of Selena Bradley speak on loss
Hernandez faces multiple felonies of varying degrees:
- First degree felonies, punishable by 5-99 years in jail: Two counts of murder, one count of continuous sex abuse of a child younger than 14.
- Second degree felonies, punishable by up to 20 years in jail: One count of tampering with physical evidence with intent to impair a human corpse, two counts of sexual assault of a child and two counts of indecency with a child by sexual contact.
He remains in prison without bond in the murder case as of 11 a.m. Monday, according to online jail records.
A plea hearing has been set for 9 a.m. Wednesday, according to online court records. The status report, which includes details of the plea agreement, lists three cases with different possible sentences.
If Hernandez pleads guilty or true to the child sexual assaults and indecency by contact charges, the state suggests 25 years in jail. The continuous sex abuse charge would be dismissed.
Hernandez, if he pleads guilty or true to the tampering charge, could get 20 years.
In the case of Selena Bradley's death, if Hernandez pleads guilty or true, the state recommends life in jail.
The agreement also recommends these sentences run concurrently.
The agreement needs a judge's approval before the case is closed.
The State of Texas vs. William James Hernandez
Chris Burney, Selena's brother, last saw her when she came to his house for dinner. They had chili dogs, and Burney's wife and a roommate dyed Selena's hair purple.
The next day, Oct. 16, she disappeared. On Oct. 19, she was found in a freezer, wrapped in a blue tarp, at Hernandez's house in the 100 block of Allen Street. The indictment listed her cause of death as choking.
Hernandez was arrested near Hamlin on suspicion of her murder. He was her boyfriend of six months, the father to her 14-week-old unborn child, and a close friend of Burney's.
"You never expect this to happen to your family. For this to hit not close, but dead center in our home, it’s a feeling that can’t be described," Burney said.
Hernandez charged in multiple child sex crimes in 2019
On Feb. 25, 2020, Hernandez found himself in jail under the indicted charges of continuous sex abuse of a child younger than 14, two counts of sexual assault of a child and two counts of indecency with a child by sexual contact.
The assaults happened on June 15, 2017, according to the indictments.
Hernandez was released from jail on a $50,000 bond with a condition of no contact with the victim hours after his arrest, according to online jail records.
The sexual assault on a child and indecency charges are second degree felonies punishable by up to 20 years in jail and a fine not to exceed $10,000. Continuous sexual abuse of a child younger than 14 years old is a first degree felony punishable by 5-99 years in jail.
Alana Edgin is a journalist covering Crime and Courts in West Texas. Send her a news tip at email@example.com.