Coroner: Child beaten to death, parents charged with murder - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Coroner: Child beaten to death, parents charged with murder

Xzayvion Riley Xzayvion Riley
Michael Robertson and Lavaughn Riley (Source: EBRSO) Michael Robertson and Lavaughn Riley (Source: EBRSO)

A man and woman who were arrested on child cruelty charges after the death of their 8-year-old son Tuesday have now have also been charged with first degree murder. These charges come after the coroner's office released the manner and cause of death of 8-year-old Xzayvion Riley.

The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office say Michael Robertson, 46, and Lavaughn Riley, 32, are charged with first degree murder and 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. The coroner's office is reporting Xzayvion had more than 60 external signs of recent and past trauma, which include cuts, bruises and adult size bite marks on his abdomen. Xzayvion also had an "overwhelming infection" due to blunt force trauma to the abdomen.

The autopsy revealed that Xzayvion died due to a ruptured intestine caused by blunt force trauma to the stomach.  According to the forensic pathologist, the injury was potentially treatable, if doctors had seen the victim when he complained of stomach pains.

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

During questioning, Xzayvion's mother said on one occasion it sounded as if Robertson was throwing their son against the bedroom wall, and she did nothing to intervene.

The victim's sibling told detectives that Robertson beat the child with his closed fist from noon Monday until Monday evening. Xzayvion allegedly complained of stomach pains and vomited throughout the night on Monday and was too weak to get out of bed on Tuesday.

The sibling also witnessed Michael Robertson bite her 8-year-old brother on the stomach. The sibling also said she witnessed Robertson bite the child on a regular basis as a form of discipline. Robertson denied any involvement in his son's injuries.

Xzayvion lived with his mother, Lavaughn at an apartment complex on Coy Avenue. His dad, Michael Robertson was visiting when deputies said Lavaughn called for help. Xzayvion was taken to the hospital, but did not survive.

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.

Robertson and Riley are in the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison.

Xzayvion's siblings are in state child protective custody.

At the time of Xzayvion's death, the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services had an open and active case with the family. The department had been involved with the family in the past as a result of reports received. During its involvement with the family, DCFS provided services that included, but not limited to, intensive home based services, protective child care, coordination with community resources, as well as involvement with the courts.

Authorities are conducting an internal case review, as well as continue to work with law enforcement in their investigation.

There was a balloon release for Xzayvion earlier this evening at the Brilliant Minds Daycare on Gardere Lane across from the Cypress Mound ballpark.

Copyright 2012 WAFB. All rights reserved.

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