Man and woman face child cruelty charges after son's death - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Parents face child cruelty charges after son's death

Xzayvion Riley Xzayvion Riley
Michael Robertson (Source: East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office) Michael Robertson (Source: East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office)
Lavaughn Riley Lavaughn Riley

A man and woman were arrested on child cruelty charges after the death of their 8-year-old son Tuesday.

The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office said Michael Robertson, 46, and Lavaughn Riley, 32, are charged with second-degree cruelty to a juvenile following the death of Xzayvion Riley.

Detectives said hospital staff counted 56 marks on the little boy's body.

Investigators are taking a good, hard look at an apartment complex on Coy Avenue. They say it was there where the boy took his last breath.

He lived there with his mother, Lavaughn. His dad, Michael Robertson was visiting when deputies said Lavaughn called for help. Xzayvion was taken to the hospital, but did not survive.

Casey Hicks, a spokesperson for EBRSO, said it appeared the boy had been brutally beaten.

"When detectives went to the hospital, staff there said they observed numerous bruises, scratches and even an adult-sized bite mark on the child," Hicks said.

Hicks said Riley admitted to detectives she and Robertson beat their son, an allegation Robertson denied.

Xzayvion's older sister told investigators beatings were a common form of discipline in the home. She told them about one incident in particular.

"She also stated he had beat the child for several hours the day before with a closed fist," Hicks said.

Xzayvion's grandmother, Deborah, who learned of her grandson's death and daughter's arrest Wednesday afternoon, was stunned.

"I saw him yesterday and told him good-bye and never thought it was going to be forever," Deborah Riley said.

Riley's landlord said Riley was his tenant for four months. He said he is flabbergasted at what happened and also mentioned the little boy was using a walker a couple of months ago after he suffered from a broken leg.

The sheriff's office said because no one reported the injury, investigators do not know how the broken leg may have happened.

Meanwhile, Deborah is carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders. Instead of grieving her grandson's death, she is faced with decisions she never thought she would have to make.

"How are we going to bury him if his parents are in jail?" Deborah asked.

An autopsy is scheduled for Friday to determine an exact cause of death.

Robertson and Riley are in the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on child cruelty charges. Those charges could be upgraded, depending on the findings of the autopsy.

Xzayvion's siblings are in state child protective custody.

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