In court documents filed Tuesday, Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Hatami states that 10-year old Anthony Avalos, who had come out as gay, underwent sustained tortured over five days last month.
The court documents spell out the horrific treatment Avalos suffered at the hands of his mother Heather Barron, and her boyfriend, Kareem Leiva. The district attorney’s office details in the filing that Barron and Leiva poured hot sauce on the boy’s face and mouth, repeatedly whipped the boy with a looped cord and belt, as well as held him upside-down and dropped him on his head repeatedly.
In the new filings, which seek to establish a long standing pattern of alleged felony child abuse, Deputy DA Hatami is also alleging that the couple alternately withheld food and force-fed him, slammed him into furniture and the floor, denied access to the bathroom and enlisted other children in the home to inflict pain.
“At one point, Anthony could not walk, was unconscious lying on his bedroom floor for hours, was not provided medical attention and could not eat on his own,” Hatami wrote.
“The Los Angeles Times reported that both Barron and Leiva have been charged with murder and torture in Avalos’ death. The two appeared in a Lancaster courtroom Monday but their arraignments were postponed until Aug. 3. If convicted as charged, Barron faces a possible maximum sentence of 22 years to life in prison, and Leiva faces 32 years to life.
Reporting by the staff of the Los Angeles Blade, the Los Angeles Times & wire service reports.