BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The father of an 8-year-old boy who died after being severely beaten appeared in front of a judge for a bond hearing Monday morning.
Judge Trudy White refused to set bond for Michael Robertson, who faces a charge of first-degree murder in the death of Xzayvion Riley.
Lavaughn Riley, the boy's mother, has also been charged with first-degree murder. Her bond hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.
The autopsy revealed the boy 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.
Records show Louisiana officials were aware of possible abuse in the home as far back as August of last year. It was confirmed the 8-year-old had been assigned a case worker. The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office also received complaints of possible abuse. A deputy checked out the situation each time a complaint was filed, but found nothing pointing to physical abuse.
Daycare workers last saw Xzayvion Riley just days before he was beaten to death. In the short few months Evelyn Pierson had to get to know him, she said she never suspected he was being abused. She described him as a smart and quiet child who loved to give hugs. But now, she and others wonder what was hidden behind them.
The state launched a child abuse reporting hotline last July. Since that time, it has logged more than 84,000 calls reporting possible abuse cases statewide. In all of last year, the state sent investigators to check out more than 28,000 reported cases of abuse.