VENUS – The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a 41-year-old Venus woman on a charge of criminal attempted capital murder of a person younger than age 6.

Gayla Suzette Deforest was taken into custody during the early morning hours of Feb. 21. Bond was set at $500,000.

Sheriff Bob Alford reported in a press release that deputies responded to a call at about 7 p.m. Feb. 20 from a day care provider, who told deputies that the child’s mother had called her and told her she had tried to murder her son. 

The day care provider told deputies she confirmed with the mother that the child was OK and immediately went to the woman’s residence and retrieved the boy. The child care provider called the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office to report the incident, with patrol deputies arriving shortly after the 911 call and determining an offense did occur, Alford said about the case.

Sheriff’s investigators subsequently responded and interviewed Deforest, who gave them a full statement after being advised of her rights and receiving a Miranda warning, Alford said, noting that the woman’s statement indicated her 2 _-year-old son had dirtied his diaper and made a mess on the walls with the fecal material.

Alford said Deforest told deputies she spanked the child; put him in a bathtub and twice turned him over, holding his head under water; and then beat him with a large plastic spoon.

“At this point she called her day care provider and shared the details of what she had done to the child,” Alford said.

The sheriff said the 2 _-year-old boy is physically OK other than bruising and has been voluntarily placed with an approved person by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.