Parents indicted for murder in 8-year-old son's death - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Parents indicted for murder in 8-year-old son's death

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

A grand jury has indicted a man and woman for murder in the death of their 8-year-old son.

An East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury Thursday officially charged Michael Robertson and Lavaughn Riley with first-degree murder in the beating death of Xzayvion Riley. District Attorney Hillar Moore has not decided whether he will seek the death penalty if Robertson and Riley are convicted of first-degree murder. The pair is being held without bond.

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 on Tuesday, June 12. Xzayvion was taken to the hospital, but did not survive.

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 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 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.

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.

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.

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