Half-Ton Killer? Why 1,100lb Mayra Rosales confessed to a murder she didn’t commit

In 2008 1,100 pound woman Mayra Rosales (31) told the cops she killed her her two-year-old nephew, Eliseo Jr. by accidentally rolling over on him while babysitting him. But that wasn’t the truth. Tonight TLC is airing a documentary called Half-Ton Killer that explores this compelling case.

In the trailer below Mayra insists “I should be punished, I did wrong,” while Nancy Grace wonders why she’s not in jail, and someone else ponders whether it is even possible to execute a person of Mayra’s size via lethal injection.

What’s really going on here? Here’s a little background information:

Just before March 2008, when the horrific event occurred, Mayra and her husband Bernie moved in with Mayra’s sister Jaime, who had four children. According to Mayra, she felt like more a mother to the children than Jaime, and was often left babysitting them.

Mayra recounted to the UK’s Reveal magazine what happened the day Eliseo Jr. died:

“Jaime was giving my nephew breakfast and he didn’t want to eat. I told her if he was crying he wasn’t going to eat, but she got mad, got a brush and hit him on his arms, legs and head which left a bump. Afterwards, she got his Winnie the Pooh blanket, covered him up and put him to bed. Then she went out, leaving me with the children.”

Later that day Eliseo started having breathing issues, so Mayra called 911. The hospital wouldn’t let anyone see Eliseo until they knew who had hurt the child, and according to Mayra, Jaime begged her to say it was her. So she made up a story about rolling on top of Eliseo, and falling on him with her hand. She said her main objective was to help her sister, and prevent the other three children from being taken away. Mayra also felt fatalistic about her own situation, and felt like it made since to sacrifice herself “I thought I was dying anyway so I decided to admit that I’d done it to protect my sister because I love her.”

But the nature of the boy’s injury didn’t add up that story. Mayra would have had to swing her arm in order to inflict the type of wound he had on his head, something that was physically impossible for Mayra to do. As this information came to light, and a trial started to move forward with Mayra as the key suspect, Jaime fled, fearing the truth would come out.

When it did, Mayra was able to released from jail this January, and was able to seek much needed medical attention (she’s already lost about 280, a great deal of it from painful water retention.)

When Jaime was finally located, she confessed to the crime, and is serving 15 years in jail. It’s absolutely stunning to think that someone would just take the fall like that, even for their sister, especially if there is abuse in the home. Wouldn’t it make more sense to help the other children be removed from the abusive mother so they’re not in danger?

It seems like Mayra was miserable, and taking the fall was an act of self-destruction (and probably a cry for help.) This whole situation is heartbreaking, and at the core of it is a two-year-old little boy who had his chance at life taken away.