NewsCovering Kern County


DA to seek death penalty for mother, boyfriend charged in murder of 10-year-old Anthony Avalos

Posted at 1:28 PM, Aug 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-28 16:28:40-04

LANCASTER, Calif. — Prosecutors will seek the death penalty for a Lancaster woman and her boyfriend who are both charged with the torture and murder of her 10-year-old son, Anthony Avalos, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced Wednesday morning.

Heather Barron, 29, and Kareem Leiva, 33, remain jailed in connection with Anthony's death on June 21, 2018. Both appeared in court on Wednesday as

Prosecutors contend that the boy was severely tortured during the last five or six days of his life by his mother and Leiva. The alleged abuse included whipping the child with a belt and a looped cord, pouring hot sauce on his face and mouth, holding him by his feet and dropping him on his head repeatedly, according to court documents.

The filing states that Anthony's injuries stretched from his head to his toes - bruises, abrasions, cuts and traumatic brain injuries.

Leiva is also accused of being involved in violent conduct and threats while being in jail, including an alleged assault against another inmate in July.