Mother, uncle charged in death of Maryland boy beaten over cake

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 13, 2015 9:05 PM

(Reuters) - The mother and uncle of a 9-year-old Maryland boy who authorities say was handcuffed and beaten for sneaking a piece of birthday cake have been charged with murder and child abuse, police said on Monday.

Oriana Garcia, the mother, and Jacob Barajas, the uncle, were arrested on Monday after authorities learned they planned to move to the West Coast, Hagerstown police said in a statement.

The boy, Jack Garcia, died on July 5 after being on life support at Children's National Medical Center in Washington following the beating, a Hagerstown police spokesman said.

Garcia and Barajas were charged with second-degree murder and child abuse resulting in his death. Police said Garcia did not allow emergency responders to provide medical treatment to her son after knowing he was beaten on June 30.

Police said Garcia's boyfriend, Robert Wilson, 30, handcuffed and beat her son late that night after he caught him eating birthday cake without permission at their home in Hagerstown, about 50 miles northwest of Washington.

Barajas assisted Wilson in handcuffing the boy, police added. Wilson was previously charged with first- and second-degree assault, child abuse and reckless endangerment.

Police found the boy suffering from severe injuries to his face, neck, back, buttocks, legs and abdomen, according to a statement. He was unconscious and not breathing.

(Reporting by John Clarke in Washington; Editing by David Bailey and Peter Cooney)