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California mother, boyfriend hit with ‘murder and torture’ costs in the 10-year-old boy’s death, officials say

Los Angeles County prosecutors have charged a mother and her boyfriend with murder and torture in the death of Anthony Avalos, the wife of the 10-year-old son.

(David Barron via AP)

The authorities in California said Friday that they have charged 10-year-old boy’s mother and her boyfriend with murder and torture following the child’s death earlier this month.

Heather Maxine Barron and Kareem Ernesto Leiva both are accused of one count of murder and torture, while Barron was also charged with child abuse and Leiva was charged with one count of assault on a child resulting in death, according to a news release from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

The authorities arrived at a residence in Lancaster, California, on June 20 after receiving a 911 call; there they found the 10-year-old Anthony Avalos is not responding, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department previously said. The boy had allegedly sustained injuries by a fall. He was taken to a local hospital, where he died the following day.

MOTHER’S BOYFRIEND ARRESTED IN DEATH OF 10-YEAR-OLD BOY WHO COMPLAINED ABOUT MOLESTATION: POLICE

The sheriff’s department labeled Avalos ‘ death “suspicious”; the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services said there were signs of “physical abuse, including signs of heavy beaten, as well as malnutrition.”

Prosecutors on Friday accused the couple “of the torture of the boy before he died.

Prosecutors on Friday accused the couple “of the torture of the boy before he died.

(David Barron via AP)

Leiva was taken into custody on Wednesday, while Barron was arrested on Friday, the officials said. The researchers said the arrests came after authorities found evidence showing that the report about Avalos a fall down the stairs was false.

“We are of the opinion that he suffered a traumatic brain injury that resulted in a bleeding that resulted in the failure of his organs, the” Sheriff’s Lt. Derrick Alfred said.

MOTHER’S BOYFRIEND ARRESTED IN DEATH OF 10-YEAR-OLD BOY WHO COMPLAINED ABOUT MOLESTATION: POLICE

County child welfare officials received a dozen referrals of suspected child abuse on the boy from 2013 to 2016, the officials said.

After Anthony’s death, child welfare officials removed eight other children — between 11 months and 12 years old — of the house. They are cared for by county child welfare workers, officials said.

If the pair are found guilty of the charges against them, Barron could face to up to 22 years to life behind bars, while Leiva could be sentenced to 32 years to life in prison, prosecutors said.

Fox News’ Stephen Sorace and Kathleen Joyce and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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