Trial Begins for Two Charged With Boy’s Murder, Torture

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A prosecutor told a judge Wednesday that a Lancaster woman and her boyfriend tortured and abused her 10-year-old son for two weeks before his death, while an attorney for the male defendant countered that his client should be acquitted of murder.

Superior Court Judge Sam Ohta was chosen to hear the case after both sides waived their right to a jury trial for Heather Maxine Barron, 33, and Kareem Ernesto Leiva, 37, who are charged in Anthony Avalos’ June 2018 death.

The two are charged with one count each of murder and torture involving Anthony’s death, along with two counts of child abuse involving two of the boy’s half-siblings.

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