DA’s Office Moves Quickly, Charges Mother & Stepfather for Torture Murder of 10-Year-Old Anthony Avalos

Celeste Fremon
Written by Celeste Fremon

At midday on Friday, the LA District Attorney’s office announced that Kareem Ernesto Leiva, 32, and Heather Maxine Barron, 28, have been each charged with one count of murder and torture in the death of Barron’s 10-year-old son, Anthony Avalos.

Both defendants are expected to be arraigned Friday in the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Antelope Valley Branch.

The two are accused of torturing the child in the days leading up to his death, prosecutors said.

Barron faces an additional count of child abuse, while Leiva is charged with one count of assault on a child causing death.

Deputy District Attorneys Jon Hatami of the Family Violence Division, Complex Child Abuse Section, and Saeed Teymouri of the Family Violence Division are prosecuting the case.

If convicted as charged, Barron faces a possible maximum sentence of 22 years to life in state prison, while Leiva faces 32 years to life in prison.

The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide and Special Victims bureaus.

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