District Judge Jason Cashon on Tuesday sentenced Amanda Cantu, 36, to 10 years in prison for abandoning or endangering a child. A jury of seven women and five men heard evidence of a Jan. 29, 2017 traffic stop involving a Jeep Cherokee operated by Cantu as she entered Stephenville on west Highway 377.
Officer Andrew Honecker of the Stephenville Police Department detained Cantu due to an outstanding warrant. As Officer Honecker investigated, he discovered a small quantity of methamphetamine in Cantu’s purse. In the vehicle with Cantu were two of her children, a daughter age 14 and a son age 11.
Cantu was indicted for endangering a child, a state jail felony, based on her possession of methamphetamine in the presence of a child under the age of 15. Despite arguments from the defense concerning the amount of meth in the car being small, the healthy appearance of the children, and the lack of evidence of impaired driving, the jury took less than 30 minutes to find Cantu guilty.
Due to her criminal history, which included two felony convictions out of Medina County, the range of punishment was enhanced to two to 10 years in prison. After just over two hours of deliberation, the same jury which convicted Cantu assessed the maximum 10-year sentence.