Accused of savagely beating Mary Katherine “Katie” Mayfield in an attack last April that put her in a coma and then the grave, 23-year-old Jaime Beltran Granados appears likely to serve 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to murder.
Under an agreement reached last week — days before his trial was scheduled to begin — Granados pled guilty to Mayfield’s murder, Hays County District Attorney Sherri Tibbe said this morning. The district attorney declined to discuss specifics of the plea agreement until Granados is formally sentenced.
“We have a deal but he has a right to a [pre-sentencing investigation] and he requested one,” Tibbe said.
Assistant District Attorney Katie McVaney and defense attorney Ariel Payan had agreed to waive a pre-sentencing investigation as part of the deal they struck. For reasons Payan says he does not understand, however, Granados told 207th State District Judge Jack Robison that he wanted to have a pre-sentencing investigation conducted.
Asked if an investigation has the potential to undermine the plea agreement, Payan readily conceded that it does.
“Very much so. You can read into that as much as you want [but] it’s very concerning to me,” Payan said.
An undocumented Mexican immigrant who lived in Austin at the time of Mayfield’s death, Granados faced up to life in prison had he been convicted of murder. Jury selection for his murder trial was scheduled to begin Monday.
Granados was arrested by the Hays County Sheriff’s Office on April 25 last year, four days after Mayfield was found badly beaten and half-naked next to a Dumpster at an entrance to Yarrington Road Materials, a cement and gravel plant. Mayfield, 34, clung to life for 33 days after the brutal assault; she died on May 23 without ever regaining consciousness from severe head injuries that investigators say Granados inflicted.
A judge does not necessarily have to accept a plea agreement reached between prosecutors and defense attorneys, Tibbe said. However, the defendant has the right to withdraw a guilty plea if the judge imposes a sentence lengthier than the term agreed to in an agreement, Tibbe said.
According to the Texas Code of Criminal Procedures, “before the imposition of sentence by a judge… the judge shall direct a supervision officer to report in writing on the circumstances of the offense with which the offender is charged, the amount of restitution necessary to adequately compensate a victim of the offense, the criminal and social history of the offender, and any other information relating to the offender or the offense requested by the judge.”
A sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled, according to court records, but Tibbe said completion of a pre-sentencing investigation report typically takes about 45 days.Email | Print