‘Crime Stories With Nancy Grace’: Prosecutor Orders Broken-hearted Mom To Sort Crime Photos Of Dismembered Daughter

Nancy Grace: “What was done to her daughter is nothing less than a slaughterhouse…And her mother had to see those kinds of photos at the district attorney’s office?”

Friday’s episode of “Crime Stories” examines the 2016 slaying of Breanna Wood, and how Texas prosecutors have handled the case as her accused killers are expected to stand trial this year.

Breanna, 21, was last seen on October 11, 2o16, at a gas station in Corpus Christi. She had texted her mother that she was heading home, but when that did not happen, her mother reported her missing to the police.

Months later, in January 2017, an inmate at Nueces County Jail reportedly told police that he was paid $500 to dispose of Breanna’s body. He allegedly led them to her body, which was in a 2-by-2 plastic box near an abandoned building in Robstown.

A day after the discovery, another inmate who shared a cell with suspect Joseph Tejeda allegedly told police that Tejeda admitted to shooting Breanna in the back of her head, breaking her arms, and raping her corpse. The medical examiner determined that her injuries were consistent with the cellmate’s claims.

For Friday’s “Crime Stories,” host Nancy Grace zeroed in on how authorities have handled Breanna’s case — including local police apparently downplaying her disappearance by declaring that they did not suspect foul play. Grace and her guests also raised issues with how officials have treated this slain woman’s family in the wake of her murder trials.

Tejada was Breanna’s ex-boyfriend. Along with Tejada, suspect Sandra Vasquez is charged with capital murder. Tejada’s mother, Rosalinda Musella, is charged with tampering with evidence.

Another suspect, Christopher Gonzalez, pleaded guilty in 2018 to engaging in organized criminal activity so that capital murder charges would be dropped. Gonzalez is expected to testify against the other defendants.

“What was done to her daughter is nothing less than a slaughterhouse,” Grace says. “And her mother had to see those kinds of photos at the district attorney’s office?”

According to Grace, Breanna’s mother, Fallon Wood, could not appear on the podcast due to an ongoing gag order which bars her from speaking about her daughter’s pending murder trial.

Before the gag order was implemented, Fallon told KRIS in April 2022 that Nueces County First Assistant District Attorney Angelica Hernandez had her organize boxes containing sensitive case files about Breanna’s case.

Fallon was reportedly also given pictures and videos connected to the case — including graphic photos of her daughter’s mutilated body and a taped confession of one of the men implicated in her murder.

In July 2022, Hernandez admitted to giving Fallon files regarding her daughter’s murder. However, she said the files in question were unsealed. Months later, in August 2022, state prosecutors took the death penalty off the table, as defense attorneys for Tejada and Vasquez cited the ordeal as one of the many reasons why the case against them should be dismissed.

“It’s as if Breanna, this 21-year-old girl, is like a piece of meat,” Grace says. “It’s heartbreaking. And I hate, hate, hate, that Breanna’s mother Fallon had to endure all this and then be asked by the prosecutor to sort through the evidence.”

In December 2021, Nueces County prosecutors and District Court Judge Jack Pulcher recused themselves from all cases related to Breanna’s murder. This came after Nueces County District Attorney Mark A. Gonzalez said Fallon threatened civil action due to repeated delays in going to trial. Gonzalez also claimed there were concerns that they were violating the victims’ bill of rights.

“Not only has the victim’s mother been forced to look at photos of her dismembered daughter…She now faces the possibility of being disqualified as a witness.”

In turn, the Texas Attorney General’s Office is handling all of those cases. Tejada’s trial is expected to begin in August, while Vasquez is scheduled to stand trial in October.

Despite the shakeup with prosecutors and judges, “Crime Stories” guests explained how Fallon being given access to case evidence could have ramifications at her daughter’s trial.

“She’s [Fallon] looking at evidence in several cases involving her daughter’s death…She had copies of interviews, and pictures, and notes from detectives… [in the case of] a person who pled out in her daughter’s case,” KRIS reporter Taylor Alanis commented.

“She’s going to be called on the stand and have to talk about that stuff she shouldn’t be knowing about.”

Grace said she first learned about Wood’s case during a recent speaking engagement for The Purple Door, a Corpus Christi-based non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and providing services to those affected by domestic violence and sexual assault. Donations to The Purple Door can be made here.

“Crime Stories” guests highlighted how Breanna’s case is reflective of victims’ rights cases around the country. One of those guests was Sharon Sedwick, whose daughter, Jennifer Cave, was also 21 when she was murdered in Texas in 2005. Sedwick reportedly met with Fallon shortly after she was shown the graphic photos of her murdered daughter.

She said, “The travesties that have been done to Fallon as a human being, as a crime victim, and as a mother are almost incomprehensible to me.”

[Featured image: Breanna Wood/GoFundMe]