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California mother accused of killing autistic son could face death penalty

Samantha Moreno Rodriguez.jpg
Posted at 9:27 AM, Aug 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-04 15:53:06-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The California mother accused of killing her son and dumping his body near a trail just outside of Las Vegas may be facing the death penalty.

ORIGINAL STORY: Police seek tips after child's body found near hiking trail outside of Las Vegas

Samantha Moreno-Rodriguez was scheduled to appear in a Las Vegas courtroom Wednesday morning to enter a plea in her case.

However, the District Attorney's office announced they plan to bring the case in front of the death penalty review committee.

The arraignment was postponed until 8:30 a.m. Aug. 20.

Seven-year-old Liam Husted's naked body was found on May 28 by a group of hikers near Mountain Springs.

Moreno-Rodriguez was arrested days later in Denver, Colorado.

The mother and son lived in San Jose, California. Moreno-Rodriguez left a message for Husted's father saying that she planned to find another place for her and Liam to live.

According to grand jury transcripts, she told police that she and her son were hiking and he wouldn't listen to her. She reportedly pushed him and he fell and hit his head. When he wouldn't stop screaming, Moreno-Rodriguez reportedly strangled him.

RELATED: Clark County coroner says 7-year-old California boy found near trail was strangled

Husted was autistic and his mother described him as difficult to manage.

Nevada has one of the highest numbers of people on death row in the nation.

During the last legislative session, there was another attempt to ban the death penalty. However, it failed.

Most recently, the state has been attempting to execute Zane Floyd, who killed several people at a grocery store in 1999. Most recently the ACLU filed a lawsuit to stop his execution. He is currently scheduled to be executed in October.