California prosecutors will request the death penalty for a couple accused of torturing a 10-year-old boy
Prosecutors have announced their intention to set the death penalty against a mother and stepfather accused of murdering their 10-year-old boy.
The Attoney & # 39; s Office of the Los Angeles County District announced the plan on Wednesday, despite the fact that the California governor Gavin Newsom instituted an official moratorium on the death penalty in March.
Heather Maxine Barron (29) and her friend Kareem Ernesto Leiva (33) are accused of torturing her son Anthony Avalos (10) to death in June 2018.
Investigators claim that Avalos was the victim of serious child abuse and that he was brutally tortured – especially in the days before he died.
Avalos was no longer found on June 20 in the family's home in Lancaster after his mother had called 911 to say he had fallen down the stairs.
He was placed on life support, but eventually died the next day.
Murder detectives soon found Avalos dead suspicious because there were signs that he was beaten and malnourished.
Prosecutors have announced their intention to seek the death penalty against a mother and stepfather accused of murdering their 10-year-old boy
Researchers claim that Anthony Avalos was the victim of serious child abuse and that he was brutally tortured – especially in the days before he died
An examination of his body found bruises, scrapes and cigarette burns on his skin.
The report of a coroner indicated that there was a bone trauma to his head and his brain and also a multiple bone trauma to his body. There were additional injuries to his hips, arms and feet.
During a hearing last December, in which a large jury decided to accuse Barron and Leiva of capital murder, prosecutors claimed that the pair would defeat Avalos with belts, a vacuum hose and a vacuum cord.
Allegedly they would hit him in the face, hit his head on the floor, let him fight with his brothers and sisters and pour hot sauce on his face.
When they did not actively abuse Avalos, prosecutors say that Barron and Leiva would lock up the boy in his room for days without food or water.
Prosecutors claim that Barron and Leiva would defeat Avalos with straps, a vacuum hose and a vacuum cord
Avalos was no longer found in the family's house on June 20 after his mother called 911 and claimed that he had fallen down the stairs. The boy was taken away from life the next day and a coroner revealed the extensive injuries found all over his body
At the time, Prosecutor Jonathan Hatami stated: "The evidence will clearly show that Leiva and Barron are ultimately responsible for the torture and eventual murder of Anthony", said the prosecutor at the end of his opening statement.
& # 39; The evidence will show that Barron, who is Anthony's biological mother, and Leiva, who has six feet an inch, 200 pounds, brutally, brutally tortured and intentionally killed 10-year-old Anthony. & # 39;
Researchers claim that Avalos was tortured particularly badly in the five or six days before his death because he had told his mother and stepfather that he was gay.
Authorities say that child protection services have received at least 16 phone calls from concerned community members that Barron and Leiva have abused Anthony and the other two children
After the boy's death, it turned out that child protection had received at least 16 calls claiming that Barron and Leiva were abusing Avalos and their other two children.
School leaders and family members, as well as a teacher and a counselor, had all called on to express their concerns.
They reported that Avalos and his two brothers and sisters were allegedly sexually abused, beaten, forced to fight each other and had to eat from the garbage.
The callers also reported that the children were being denied food and water and had to stoop for hours.
During a press conference on Tuesday, the ruined aunt of Avalos revealed that she blamed the Los Angeles County of Department of Child and Family Services (LA DCFS) for death.
& # 39; If DCFS would have done their job when we called and told them what was going on, we wouldn't be here today, & # 39; she sobbed.
Earlier this month, Avalos & father and other family members filed a $ 50 million unlawful death trial against DCFS.
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