An autistic Maryland boy found deceased last week in a dumpster was subjected to cruel abuse before his death, according to charging documents released Monday.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Malachi Lawson, 4, was supposedly last seen August 2 at around 3:22 p.m., on the front porch of his grandmother’s house, off of the 4500 block of Rogers Avenue in Northwest Baltimore.
However, shortly after Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison asked for the public’s help in finding the boy, Malachi’s mother, Alicia Lawson, allegedly admitted the boy was never really missing. Instead, his body was hidden.
Police said Lawson led them to Malachi’s remains in a dumpster off of Hayden Avenue. The woman indicated the boy died on August 1.
Lawson was arrested, along with her girlfriend, Shatika Lawson. Both face numerous felonies, including, in part, involuntary manslaughter, child abuse, giving false statements, and tampering with evidence.
The Baltimore Sun reports that authorities released charging documents on Monday that explained what police said really happened to Malachi.
Update: Missing 4 year-old Malachi Lawson FoundOn August 1, 2019, 4 year-old Malachi Lawson was reported missing from the 4500 block of Rogers Avenue in Northwest Baltimore City. An immediate and aggressive search for young Malachi was launched by members of the Baltimore Police Department, the FBI, as well as members of the community. Upon reviewing evidence and after interviewing the child’s mother, detectives learned of the location where Malachi Lawson's body could be found. On August 3, 2019 at approximately 4:45 A.M., the remains of 4 year-old Malachi Lawson were located and recovered in the 5500 block of Haddon Avenue. Malachi's biological mother and her spouse are currently in police custody awaiting transport to Central Booking where they will be formally charged. Anyone with additional information pertaining to the death Malachi Lawson is asked to call detectives at (410) 396-2100. Once the women are processed their charges and arrest photos will be made available.
Posted by Baltimore Police Department on Saturday, August 3, 2019
According to the documents, the suspects put Malachi in scalding hot water after he soiled himself. While they were washing his soiled clothing in the sink, the boy quickly developed “serious” burns to his body while in the bathtub.
Shatika Lawson’s defense attorney, Roya Hanna, said during the Monday court hearing that his client didn’t intentionally hurt Malachi.
“She didn’t want to do anything maliciously.”
Police the child’s burns were so severe that parts of his skin were floating in the water. On July 23, Alicia Lawson reportedly took photos of the boy’s injuries, which matched the injuries investigators found on Malachi.
Both defendants failed to get Malachi medical care after the incident, claiming they were afraid they would “get in trouble.”
“They both decided to not call 911 or seek any other type of medical assistance due to fear that the child would be taken from them, that they would get in trouble for what happened to the child and their past history with child protective services,” the charging documents read.
For nine days, the women reportedly tried to treat the boy’s injuries themselves. Hanna claimed that Shatika Lawson wanted to take the boy to the hospital but couldn’t do so since Alicia Lawson was the biological mother. Regardless, neither of them called 911 for help.
On August 1, Alicia found Malachi lying unconscious in a “puddle of wetness.” The woman thought her son was dead and in turn, allegedly wrapped him in a blanket and called Lyft. A Lyft driver took Alicia and Malachi, still wrapped in a blanket, 10 miles away from their home, where she put the boy into a trash bag and placed him in a dumpster.
Charging documents alleged that Alicia Lawson searched online for garbage collection sites, according to her cellphone browsing history, CBS Baltimore reports.
“From the time of the child’s injury to the fabricated call to 911 neither Alicia or Shatika sought medical treatment for the child, instead seeking to hide his injuries for the sake of their own well being which resulted in his (Malachi’s) death,” the documents read.
Hanna argued that Shatika Lawson had no idea the boy was dead. Shatika apparently called 911 to report Malachi missing, and Hanna said the woman didn’t realize Malachi was dead until Alicia Lawson confessed to investigators.
A judge denied bond for both defendants during a Monday morning hearing.
Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
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[Feature Photo: Malachi Lawson/Handout; Malachi Lawson/Facebook]