Agonising final days of boy, 10, ‘tortured to death by mum and boyfriend because he was gay’
6th December 2018

Anthony Avalos, 10, was murdered by his mum Heather Barron, 29, and stepfather Kareem Leiva, 32, according to prosecutors in California, USA.

The young boy is said to have suffered vicious and repeated abuse at his home in the Mojave Desert, California, before he died on June 21.

He was left with injuries “all over” his body after being subjected to a brutal torture.

The boy was left with sunken eyes, small burns and circular marks below is nipples and had bruises on his bum and back as well as “scabs on all four of his extremities,” jurors heard.

Anthony was also so thin his ribs were exposed.

Assistant district attorney in the case, Jonathan Hatami, said: "The coroner's report documented injuries all over Anthony's body.

"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."

Mr Hatami also stated the boy had suffered “multiple blunt force trauma to his body”.

Both Barron and Leiva have pleaded not guilty to the charges of torture and murder.

In court documents which have now been opened Mr Hatami claims the defendants whipped Anthony with a variety of objects including a belt and a vacuum hose.

Other allegations include, putting the boy in a chokehold, making him kneel on rice and locking him in his room for days as well as not allowing him food or water.

It is also alleged Anthony was burned with cigarettes and not allowed to use the toilet, in the run up to his death.

His eight siblings are also said to have been forced to watch as well as take part in some of the abuse, the documents state, including being made to fight with the boy.

Mr Hatami wrote in an indictment: “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.”

Police were called to the house a day before he died with Barron claiming he had fallen down the stairs.

Anthony was taken to hospital but later died.

His other brothers and sisters have been taken into care.

The deputy director of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services confirmed Anthony had said that he "liked boys".

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