A Texas mom pleaded guilty to capital murder in the death of her 7-year-old bedridden daughter whom she allegedly left home alone with younger siblings to go partying more than two years ago. 

Lauren Kay Dean pleaded guilty to murder on Wednesday and was sentenced to life in prison in connection to the death of her 7-year-old daughter, Jordynn Barrera, KTRK reported. 

Dean was also sentenced to an additional 20 years for two counts of abandonment and endangering a child. 

According to the criminal complaint, Dean had left her three children, including the 7-year-old girl who was bedridden due to medical conditions, home alone so that she could do to nearby Shade's Bar. 


Lauren Kay Dean photo

Lauren Kay Dean was booked into Matagorda County Jail in January 2020.  (Bay City, Texas Police Department)

Police in Bay City, located about 80 miles southwest of Houston, responded to conduct a welfare check at the family’s apartment at approximately 2:36 p.m. on Jan. 31, 2020. 

The complaint says the then-26-year-old Dean had returned home by then and invited law enforcement inside to show that her children were OK. But upon entering the apartment, officers located a deceased girl.

Two other siblings, a 5-year-old and a 3-month-old, were also living at the residence and removed from the home. Dean was initially booked into Matagorda County Jail on three separate, second-degree felony charges of the abandonment and endangerment of a child, placing them in imminent danger of bodily injury. The mother was later charged with capital murder of a person under the age of 10.

Bay City, Texas police cruiser

This file images shows a Bay City, Texas, police vehicle.  (Bay City, Texas Police Department)

KTRK reported that Barrera, who was diagnosed with Down syndrome and cerebral palsy and was non-communicative, required a feeding tube and round-the-clock care. 


Prosecutors said the girl died because her mother left her home to go partying. The Bay City Tribune reported that Dean pleaded guilty to avoid trial and the possibility of the death penalty.