Man get 10 years for attempted kidnapping of 11-year-old

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A man who tried to take an 11-year-old girl from her school by claiming he was her father was sentenced to 10 years in prison this week.

Antonio Mata, 20, pleaded guilty to attempted aggravated kidnapping and to an unrelated charge of evading arrest in a vehicle.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Mata worked with the girl’s father and brother at a local business and had met the girl once before Dec. 2, 2018. That morning Mata was standing on the porch when the girl and her mother left for school. The girl’s mother gave Mata a ride home and he was with her when she dropped her 11-year-old daughter at Liberty Eylau Middle School.

Later in the day, Mata came to the girl’s school, claimed to be her father and tried to check her out of school. When notified that someone was there to get her, the girl called her mother, who said she had not sent anyone to the school. Mata allegedly tried to hand the girl a Christmas ornament and called her “bae,” before LEISD police and school staff detained Mata.

Mata allegedly said he was there to “start a family.”

Mata was arrested Oct. 12, 2018, after he drove 79 miles per hour in a 30-mile zone. Mata had to be subdued with pepper spray after pulling into his driveway. His passenger told officers Mata asked her if she wanted to be his “ride or die” before speeding and evading police.

Court records show Mata underwent a mental evaluation and was found competent to stand trial.

Mata will serve both sentences of 10 years at the same time as part of his plea agreement. Mata was represented by Assistant Bowie County Public Defender Clayton Haas. The case was prosecuted by First Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp and Assistant District Attorney Lauren Richards. The case is assigned to 202nd District Judge John Tidwell.

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