The harrowing final hours of a 10-year-old boy allegedly abused and tortured by his mother and her boyfriend have been revealed in court records. Transcripts from the murder case of Anthony Avalos were unsealed by a judge on Monday, days after the boy’s mother Heather Barron and stepfather Kareem Leiva were indicted for capital murder by a grand jury.
Anthony was found unresponsive in the family’s home in Lancaster, California, on June 20 after his mother called 911 to say he had fallen down the stairs.
However, during grand jury proceedings the boy’s eight-year-old sister painted a different picture of the hours before Anthony passed away.
When asked about the time leading the case, the girl said: ‘A lot of times he got hurt, and one morning he woke up and … was acting a little weird.
‘My mom said that they were gonna go to the hospital, and Anthony said he wanted to sleep, so my mom let him sleep for a little, and when he woke up, my mom said he wasn’t breathing.”
She said: ‘The night before my mom told Anthony that they were gonna go to the hospital, Kareem picked him up from his armpits and dropped him on the floor. He did that about 10 times.’
When Anthony didn’t wake up the following morning, the girl said Barron threw cold water on him before carrying him downstairs and calling 911.
His sister said he looked ‘frozen’.
Within 24 hours, Anthony would be taken off life support.
During the prosecution’s opening statements, Assistant District Attorney Jonathan Hatami described the bruises, abrasions and cigarette burn marks found all over Anthony’s body and face.
‘The coroner’s report indicated that there was blunt force trauma to his head and his brain and also multiple blunt force trauma to his body,’ Hatami told grand jurors.
‘There were injuries to Anthony’s side and his hip area, both his left hip and his right hip, and his arms, and even injuries to his feet.’
The prosecutor added that the 10-year-old had circular marks on his stomach and below his nipple, abrasions on his knees and back, and contusions and scabs on all four of his extremities.
Hatami then went on to list how the boy sustained the injuries, claiming that Barron, 29, and Leiva, 32, would beat Anthony – with belts, a vacuum hose, a vacuum cord, with fists, wrestling moves, chokeholds, feet.
They would slap him in the face, slam his head into the floor and make him fight with his siblings, Hatami said.
They’d torture the boy with hot sauce, by making him kneel on rice and making him hold books and weights for hours on end.
When they weren’t actively abusing the boy, Hatami said, the couple would lock Anthony in his room for days without food or water.
‘The evidence will clearly show that Leiva and Barron are ultimately responsible for the torture and eventual murder of Anthony,’ the prosecutor said at the end of his opening statement.
‘The evidence will show that Barron, who’s Anthony’s biological mother, and Leiva, who’s six feet one inch, 200 pounds, brutally, brutally tortured and intentionally murdered 10-year-old Anthony.’
Prosecutors claim that Anthony suffered severe torture in the five or six days before his death because he had told his mother and stepfather that he was gay.
Neither the defendants nor their defense attorneys were in the courtroom during the grand jury proceedings as the 25-person jury were tasked with determining whether Barron and Leiva should be indicted.
Records from the proceedings were kept secret until the jury made its decision last week and the couple were indicted for capital murder.
After Anthony was taken off life support, homicide detectives quickly deemed the boy’s death suspicious as there were signs he had been severely beaten and was malnourished.
Source: Daily Mail
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