A California mother and her boyfriend are facing numerous criminal charges for the alleged torture and murder of the woman’s 10-year-old son.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Heather Barron, 29, and Kareem Leiva, 32, pleaded not guilty to multiple charges in the death of Barron’s 10-year-old son Anthony Avalos.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Anthony died in June after he was allegedly beaten and tortured by his mother and her boyfriend.
“At one point Anthony could not walk, was unconscious lying on his bedroom floor for hours, was not provided medical attention, and could not eat on his own,” Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Hatami wrote in an motion filed in July.
That motion, obtained by the Los Angeles Times, alleges that the suspects lashed the boy’s feet with a belt, poured hot sauce on his face, and dangled him upside down in the days before he died. He was also allegedly deprived of food during some periods, while being force fed in others.
Anthony had seven siblings, who were removed from the home after his death. The prosecutor’s report alleges that those children were also abused; their mother’s boyfriend allegedly threw dirty diapers at them and hit them with a hose.
According to the New York Post, the LA County Department of Children and Family Services had received numerous tips since 2013 about alleged abuse in the home but allowed the children to remain there, for reasons that remain unclear.
Levia and Barron have reportedly pleaded guilty to all charges, and could face the death penalty if they are convicted.