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USA. Mother sentenced to life in prison for murdering and torturing her 10-year-old son

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A Los Angeles court has sentenced a California couple to life in prison for torturing and murdering a 10-year-old boy, media reported. The convicted mother of the victim had m. dropping a child on the floor in front of his half-siblings, according to court documents obtained by NBC Los Angeles.

Heather Maxine Barron called the emergency services on June 20, 2018, saying that her 10-year-old son, Anthony Avalos, was not responding to any stimuli. The 28-year-old and her partner, 32-year-old Kareem Ernesto Leiva, told the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office that the boy was injured in an accidental fall, CBS News reported. Avalos died a day later in hospital.

Heather Maxine Barron in court Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

During the investigation, authorities found that the 10-year-old had been abused for several years. A Los Angeles court found that the perpetrator of the “abuse” that directly caused Avalos’ death was Leiva, while the boy’s mother “helped and supported him.” In March this year, a court found Barron and Leiva guilty of torture and first-degree murder. Last Tuesday, the couple were sentenced to life in prison without parole, and the court ordered the convicts to pay $7,500. dollars (equivalent to approx. PLN 31.2 thousand – ed.) as a compensation benefit, NBC News reported. Both faced the death penalty, but the Los Angeles County District Attorney, after winning the 2020 election, announced that his office would no longer seek such penalties.

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SEE ALSO: Children and youth victims of violence. Where and how to seek help and what to look for

An emotional statement before the court of Anthony’s 13-year-old sister

During the trial, Anthony’s relatives read their statements. The deceased’s half-sister, now 13 (her details as a minor victim have been withheld – ed.), called Barron a “monster” who could not protect his children. After the girl burst into tears in court, an adult continued reading her statement. “I was freed from torture and abuse… But if I had known it would end with losing my brother, I would have gone through it all again. The only difference was that it would have been me and not Anthony,” she was quoted as saying by NBC News. And Barron would be wiping tears from her face as well.

Living in Mexico The 10-year-old’s father, Victor Avalos, said he misses his son and regrets that the boy’s mother “didn’t make the right decisions”. “I feel kind of guilty that I wasn’t able to help him when he needed me the most,” he said, adding that he “thinks about it every day.”

According to the Los Angeles Times, a total of 17 of Anthony’s relatives and other witnesses appeared in court on Tuesday.

SEE ALSO: Respond to violence against children. Campaign of the Foundation “We Give Children Strength”

Children forced to watch violence

NBC Los Angeles has accessed the content of the court documents. They say Avalos’ half-siblings watched the 10-year-old be abused in the six years leading up to his death. The children were also forced to watch others being punished by Barron and Leiva. For example, Barron allegedly intentionally dropped her son on the floor. Relatives of Avalos sued the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Affairs in 2019, claiming that the authority failed to intervene regarding the treatment of children, despite numerous reports of abuse prior to the 10-year-old’s death. According to NBC News, family lawyer Brian Claypool, the case was settled last year in a settlement worth $32 million.

SEE ALSO: Charged with the murder of an 8-year-old girl. “She was beaten so badly by her grandmother that she died”

Main photo source: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

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