Teen Sentenced After Brutally Killing Mother With Bare Hands

A 19-year-old man from Texas, Tyler Roenz, has been sentenced to 40 years in a state correctional facility for the murder of his mother, Michelle Roenz, in 2022. The sentence was handed down by Harris County District Court Judge Hillary Unger. In addition to the murder charge, Roenz also pleaded guilty to felony tampering with evidence, for which he received a 20-year sentence. The sentences will run concurrently.

The case against Roenz began when he and his mother were reported missing by his father in October 2022. The father had discovered a tooth and a trail of blood in their garage, leading to the master bedroom where he found a large pool of blood and four more teeth. His wife’s car, a black Mazda, was also missing.

Authorities were able to track Roenz’s movements through Oklahoma and Kansas using license-plate readers and credit card purchases made in his mother’s name. The car was eventually spotted in Nebraska. After being alerted by Texas authorities about the car’s connection to a recent homicide, Nebraska State Police attempted to stop the vehicle, resulting in a high-speed chase.

The chase ended when the Mazda, traveling at over 110 mph, rear-ended a semi-truck and crashed into a tree near Aurora, Nebraska. Roenz was seriously injured in the crash and taken to a hospital. His mother’s body was found in the trunk of the car.

Following his recovery, Roenz was extradited to Texas. A medical examiner in Nebraska determined that Michelle Roenz’s death was a homicide, caused by strangulation and blunt force trauma.

In a statement following the sentencing, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said, “This is an awful tragedy for this family. It was important that this defendant took responsibility for what he did, and now he will spend decades in prison for his actions.”

As part of his plea deal, Roenz will have to serve at least 20 years of his 40-year sentence before he is eligible for parole. Charges of unauthorized use of a vehicle and attempted sexual assault were dismissed in exchange for his guilty pleas.