Ex-soldier gets 50-year term for mom’s murder
A former soldier accused of shooting his mother in the head as she slept pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 50 years in prison Friday morning.
Travis Baczewski, 23, was charged with capital murder and family violence in the death of Violetta Baczewski on July 26, 2009.
He could have received up to life in prison.
Under the plea agreement, Baczewski must serve 25 years before being considered for parole. Prosecutor Monica Flores said it was a fair sen- tence to suggest after speaking with family members.
Police said Baczewski shot his mother once in the head while she slept at her home on Old Manchaca Road in southern Travis County, according to an arrest affidavit.
He then stole his parents’ 42-inch plasma television, several pieces of women’s jewelry, guns, and debit and credit cards before fleeing to the Rio Grande Valley in his father’s Infiniti, according to police.
Baczewski’s father, Steven, was in Iraq working for a private company
Continued from A and hadn’t been able to reach his wife that day by phone.
Deputies found Violetta Baczewski in her home after her sister called police when no one answered the door.
Police tracked down Travis Baczewski through a credit card purchase at a gas station, found him the next evening at a hotel in Alamo and arrested him, according to the arrest affidavit.
A search warrant for Violetta Baczewski’s home and the family’s two cars that officials released Wednesday said a letter from the Army was found stating that Travis Baczewski had gone AWOL because he’d failed three drug tests.
Defense attorney Rhett Braniff said the best thing about the plea agreement is that it will give Baczewski the opportunity to be granted parole and give him a second chance, as his fa- was killed July 26, 2009. ther wants for him.
Family members were present at the courthouse and spoke in court to Baczewski after the plea agreement was approved by Judge Mike Lynch. Travis Baczewski’s stoic expression remained unchanged throughout the proceeding.
A family friend, Baczewski’s first cousin and his aunt, who did not want to give their names, spoke on behalf of Violetta Baczewski, making it clear through teary, angry statements that they were present in honor of his mother’s memory and not for him.
The three women expressed their grief and hoped that he would be haunted by his mother’s memory for the rest of his life.
Baczewski’s father spoke last, choking up before he was able to begin speaking. He told his son to appreciate the opportunity he had been given through his sentence to possibly get out of prison and start over.
“I hate what you did, but you’re still my son,” Steven Baczewski said. “A lot of people don’t understand, but I still love you because you are my son.”
Travis Baczewski must serve at least 25 years.