A Los Angeles judge found a Lancaster mother and her boyfriend guilty of first-degree murder Tuesday in the 2018 death of 10-year-old Anthony Avalos.
L.A. Superior Court Judge Sam Ohta found Heather Maxine Barron, 33, and Kareem Ernesto Leiva, 37, guilty of one count each of murder and torture for the boy’s death in a non-jury trial after both defendants waived their right to a jury.
Anthony Avalos was found unresponsive in his family’s Lancaster apartment on June 20, 2018, and died the next morning.
According to prosecutors, Anthony was tortured for at least five days before he died.
Barron and Leiva are also facing two counts of child abuse involving Anthony’s half-siblings.
The murder conviction includes the special circumstance allegation of murder involving the infliction of torture.
“Today’s guilty verdict marks another milestone in the aftermath of the horrific death of young Anthony Avalos,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “Justice has been lawfully served in court, but nothing will bring Anthony back or fill the void that his loss has caused in the community and in the hearts of all who knew and loved him.”
Both Barron and Leiva face a maximum of life in prison without the possibility of parole.