In the despicable cases where a child is subjected to abuse by the people who are supposed to love and protect them, you hope that someone else will notice the warning signs.
In a case that has shocked the nation a 10-year-old boy died after allegedly suffering years of abuse and torture at the hands of his mother and her boyfriend.
Despite numerous complaints to the Department of Children and Family Services in LA, Anthony Avalos died after he was discovered unresponsive at the family apartment.
Now the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced that it will seek the death penalty against the mother and her boyfriend.
The court heard the shocking details of Anthony’s abuse and that suffered by his siblings. Allegations of pouring hot sauce on the Anthony’s face and mouth, repeatedly beating him with a cord and belt and locking him up without access to food or the bathroom.
The couple, Heather Maxine Barron, 29, and Kareem Ernesto Leiva, 33, were indicted by a grand jury on capital murder charges last October.
They have pleaded not guilty to murder with a special circumstance allegation of intentional murder with infliction of torture on the victim.
‘Worst kind of punishment’
Anthony’s uncle David Barron welcomed the court’s decision to seek capital punishment.
“I know the death penalty won’t bring Anthony back, but this is one of the worst kind of crimes you could commit, so deserves the worst kind of punishment,” he said, according to KTLA.com.
Anthony, who was discovered unresponsive at the family’s apartment on June 20, 2018, died the next morning.
The court heard that his mother had called 911 saying Anthony had fallen but investigators found evidence of physical abuse, authorities said.
Anthony was tortured for at least five days prior to his death, according to prosecutors.
The couple have also each been charged with abusing two other children between April 2014 and June 2018, prosecutors said.
‘At least 16 reports over 5 years’
The suit alleges there were at least 16 reports over five years to DCFS about the 10-year-old suffering physical and sexual abuse at the home before the boy died.
Find out more about this shocking case in the clip below.
We hope that the truth comes out and Anthony gets the justice he deserves.
Please share to pay tribute to this brave boy who never really had a chance to enjoy the happy and loving life he was entitled to.