LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A mother who killed her 7-year-old autistic son last year was sentenced to 28 years to life in prison Thursday morning.

Samantha Moreno-Rodriguez, 36, pleaded guilty to charges of murder and child abuse, neglect or endangerment resulting in substantial bodily harm earlier this year.

She received a sentence of 28 years to life for murder and a sentence of 8 to 20 years for child abuse resulting in substantial bodily harm. The two sentences will be served consecutively, and she will be eligible for parole after serving her minimum 28 years.

Moreno-Rodriguez was initially scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday morning, but her sentencing was pushed to Thursday morning after she failed to appear in court.

She killed her son, Liam Husted, and dumped his naked body near a trail in Mountain Springs near Las Vegas. Husted was found by hikers several feet off the trail behind a bush on May 28, 2021, investigators said.

Investigators believe that Moreno-Rodriguez and Liam had been hiking on the trail when she pushed him, causing him to fall and hit his head.

She later told investigators “that she also fell during this process and then after Liam fell and hit his head and started screaming, top of his lungs, louder than she had ever heard him scream before, and she wasn’t sure how to stop him from crying.”

Liam Husted, 7, and his mother, Samantha Moreno Rodriguez.

She then strangled and killed him before removing his clothes, a prosecutor told a grand jury.

“Samantha indicated that she had watched television crime shows and thought that by removing his clothing, it would make it more difficult to associate him with her after she left the area,” the investigator said.

Liam’s clothes were never found.

Moreno-Rodriguez was later arrested in Denver on June 8 while having breakfast with a man she had met days earlier, police said.

Before Moreno-Rodriguez was sentenced, Liam’s father spoke about his love for his son and the impact of his death.

“My son was taken away by his own mother, a helpless child dependent on her for care and nurturing. Instead, he became a victim of her careless and self-centered actions… determined to start a new life in another state as if it never happened.

“I will never know the boy, teenager, and man a dad is supposed to know. The window in my truck still has his tiny fingerprints behind his seat. My pain is too much to wash it… I think about all the pain he was in and how terrified he was.”