Abuse allegations detailed in Anthony Avalos murder trial read full article at worldnews365.me










The final 4 years of Anthony Avalos’ life had been practically fixed torture.

The Antelope Valley boy would spend hours locked in a room with no entry to meals, water or a toilet. His physique was wracked with welts produced by the lashes of belts and electrical cables. Wounds on his knees would scab over and reopen after he was compelled to kneel on raw rice and concrete. His blood dotted the room the place he slept.

Anthony’s mom, Heather Barron, and her boyfriend, Kareem Leiva, sat stoically in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom Wednesday as prosecutors opened the trial in opposition to them by outlining the horrific abuses the couple is accused of inflicting on the boy, who in the end died of head trauma in 2018. They’ve pleaded not responsible to torturing and murdering Anthony, and to abusing two of Barron’s different kids. If convicted of all prices, they face life in jail.

On the time, Anthony’s loss of life uncovered the failure of Los Angeles County’s social companies system to guard the 10-year-old and his siblings regardless of greater than a dozen reviews from relations alleging Leiva and Barron had been abusive. Now, the beginning of the trial 4 and half years later has turned the main target squarely on the tragedy of the boy’s brief, pain-filled life and the folks accused of ending it so violently.

“She’s been torturing her kids for a long period of time,” L.A. County Deputy Dist. Atty. Saeed Teymouri stated of Barron on Wednesday. “Once defendant Leiva came into the picture, it turned deadly.”

Whereas Leiva admitted to severely abusing the boy in a recorded interview with Sheriff’s Division investigators that was performed in court docket Wednesday, his lawyer, Dan Chambers, argued that Leiva didn’t trigger Anthony’s loss of life and must be acquitted of his homicide.

Barron’s lawyer, Nancy Sperber, declined to provide a gap assertion. Through the trial, Sperber is predicted to attempt to shift blame onto Leiva. Barron has alleged in interviews with police that Leiva additionally abused her.

As an alternative of a jury trial, each defendants opted to have Los Angeles County Superior Court docket Decide Sam Ohta render a verdict within the case.

A 2019 Times investigation supplied a timeline of Anthony’s devastating life. When he was 4 years outdated, his mom advised relations that her son had been sexually abused by a member of the family. Two years later, the boy’s aunt, Crystal Diuguid, advised a therapist that Barron was beating Anthony and locking him in a room.

The reviews of violence in opposition to the boy grew extra extreme. In the future, he confirmed as much as faculty with wounds believed to have been brought on by BB gun pellets, based on The Occasions’ report. He advised a vice principal that his mom’s abuses included forcing to him to carry a squatted place for lengthy durations of time along with his arms outstretched, which she known as “the captain’s chair.” A relative known as an abuse hotline alleging that Leiva had dangled the kids over a balcony and threatened to drop them, and typically picked Anthony up by his armpits earlier than slamming him headfirst into the bottom.

Within the midst of the abuse, Anthony wrote a suicide word, based on data beforehand reviewed by the Occasions.

Throughout his opening assertion on Wednesday, Teymouri detailed a listing of burns, cuts and malnutrition the boy suffered, and repeatedly displayed photos of his battered physique that had been taken within the hospital earlier than he died. Sobs escaped from the gallery each couple of minutes as relations handed round a field of tissues.

Flipping between an image of a youthful, more healthy and smiling Anthony and a picture of the boy mendacity in a hospital mattress with sunken, bloody eyes and a physique coated in cuts and bruises, Teymouri seemed on the defendants and stated: “They turned this beautiful 10-year-old boy from this, to this.”

Anthony was brain-dead and had no pulse when paramedics arrived at his household’s Lancaster house in June 2018, based on Teymouri. Barron advised paramedics the boy had thrown himself to the bottom and harm his head, however Teymouri stated a number of the different kids in the home later advised police he had been unconscious for practically two days. In that point, Teymouri stated, Leiva fled the house and signed over guardianship of his personal 5 kids to relations, fearing he can be arrested.

On the trial, which is predicted to last as long as six weeks, a number of docs and paramedics are anticipated to testify that Barron didn’t look bothered, and at different instances gave the impression to be feigning tears, whereas her son lay unconscious and dying. Different witnesses are anticipated to color Leiva as a violent gang member who starved and beat the kids at any time when they had been out of Barron’s sight.

Along with figuring out the defendants’ guilt or innocence, the trial may also function a referendum on the county’s Division of Kids and Household Providers.

Barron’s sister-in-law, Maria Barron, took the stand Wednesday and wept after prosecutors replayed a name her husband had made to a county hotline in 2015, detailing abuses Anthony and the opposite kids allegedly suffered from Leiva. After the report was filed, Maria Barron stated the company allowed her sister-in-law to have an unsupervised go to with the kids, throughout which she recorded them recanting the abuse allegations. The company’s caseworkers later returned the kids to Leiva and Barron, who lower off contact along with her sister-in-law.

“We weren’t allowed to see the kids anymore … we couldn’t save them,” Maria Barron stated.

It was the primary of many failures. The company, which was monitoring Anthony for many of a four-year interval from 2013 to 2017, obtained at the very least 13 reviews about him in that point from relations, lecturers, counselors and police, but the boy remained in Leiva and Barron’s house. No DCFS workers have been disciplined in reference to the case, the company has stated.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Division Det. Chris Wyatt additionally took a report that alleged Leiva had abused one other one among Barron’s kids. Wyatt noticed wounds on the kid’s ear, however made no try to search out Leiva or pursue an investigation, based on the detective’s grand jury testimony. Regardless of investigating the household for 3 years, DCFS employees by no means interviewed Leiva, based on case notes beforehand reviewed by The Occasions.

The case has usually drawn comparisons to the torture and murder of 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez, whose case additionally highlighted main flaws inside DCFS. Prosecutors tried to cost 4 social employees for failing to correctly report the abuses suffered by Gabriel, however an appellate court docket threw the case out.

Prosecutors didn’t attempt to carry prices in opposition to DCFS workers in Anthony’s loss of life, although counselor Barbara Dixon was positioned on probation by a state board for failing to report suspected abuses in opposition to each boys earlier than their deaths.

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