LOS ANGELES – A 10-year-old Southern California boy was starved and beaten days before his death, sometimes by younger brothers and sisters are forced to take part in the assault, according to prosecutors who charged his mother and her boyfriend with his murder.
KNBC-TV on Tuesday cited court documents which alleged cruel and repeated abuse of Anthony Avalos on his Lancaster home in the Mojave Desert north of Los Angeles for five or six days before his death, on June 21.
The torture included beating the boy on the bedroom floor, whipping him with a belt and cord, the pouring of the hot sauce in his mouth and doesn’t allow him to use the bathroom, according to the documents.
Eight brothers and sisters, seen and were forced to take part in some of the abuses, which, according to the documents that are included, allowing the other children to fight Anthony and force the children to keep an eye on “, as Anthony would remain standing or kneel.”
“At one time, Anthony couldn’t 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 a motion filed Monday asks a judge to admit previous child abuse reports to the evidence.
Police officers were called to Anthony’s home, a day before he died in a hospital. His mother said the boy had fallen down the stairs.
Heather Maxine Barron, 28, and her boyfriend, Kareem Ernesto Leiva, 32, were accused of torture and murder. They have not entered resources and remained jailed on $2 million bail each pending a hearing of the following month.
Hatami the movement said that when the boy was taken to a hospital, his heart stopped and he suffered from a traumatic brain injury and brain bleeding.
Anthony also had red eyes and numerous bruises, cuts and abrasions on his forehead, nose, mouth, jaw, neck, legs, shoulders, hips, back, buttocks, abdomen, ankles, legs and feet.
County child welfare officials had a dozen referrals of suspected child abuse on the boy from 2013 to 2016. Anthony had removed from his home for a number of months to a number of the reports of abuse were substantiated. He was returned after family members received in-home counselling, welfare officials said.
After Anthony’s death, authorities removed eight other children aged between 11 months and 12 years old — of the house. They are cared for by county child welfare workers, officials said.
If convicted, Anthony’s mother could face up to 22 years to life in captivity. Her boyfriend could be sentenced to 32 years to life in prison.