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Birthday Cake Beating: Mom pleads guilty to child abuse in son’s senseless death

by Jacquelyn Gray, Contributor

Her boyfriend beat her son to death for eating a piece of birthday cake

A Hagerstown, Maryland, woman is facing prison time after her 9-year-old son was fatally beaten by a boyfriend for eating a piece of birthday cake — and she didn’t help him.

Oriana Iris Garcia’s son Jack Garcia died at a Washington DC hospital on July 5, 2015, six days following the unthinkable abuse carried out by Robert Leroy Wilson, 32.

Ms. Garcia, 27, reportedly pleaded guilty to first-degree child abuse charges. According to the Herald-Mail, Garcia accepted a plea deal which dropped other charges, including second-degree murder.

Wilson beat the 9-year-old because he ate cake meant for his 2-year-old daughter, according to court records obtained ABC News. Oriana’s brother Jacob Barajas, 25, claimed on the day in question Wilson handcuffed the boy and struck him in the abdomen with “palm strikes” as Jack begged for him to stop.

Barajas was watching Jack and two other children when Wilson came home and discovered the missing cake. The 25-year-old admitted he left the boy alone with Wilson during the abuse, WBAL reported in July.

According to the Associated Press, Oriana sent an ambulance away as her son was dying. The 9-year-old went untreated for four hours until Wilson called 911. Jack never regained consciousness.

Prosecutors claimed Wilson routinely abused Jack, striking him with a bamboo sword and withholding food from the boy if he failed to do exercises. A week leading up to his death, Wilson handcuffed him for up to three hours a day “to teach Jack not to steal,” charging documents alleged.

In March, Wilson pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and is serving a 30-year sentence. Barajas pleaded guilty to first-degree child abuse resulting in severe physical injury in September and is awaiting sentencing.

Assistant State’s Attorney Sarah Mollett-Gaumer announced they will seek a 30-year prison sentence for the mom, with 10 more years suspended.

Oriana’s attorney David Harbin reportedly told the judge, “The defense will provide mitigation at sentencing to further explain this tragic incident.”

Her sentencing is set for March 31.

 

 

Photo: Hagerstown Police Department

Jacquelyn Gray is a New Jersey-based writer and journalist. When she's not covering crime, she's probably tweeting or doing yoga.