Woman arrested in boy’s death was convicted in torture case

December 1, 2016

One of the women arrested in the death of a 7-year-old Milwaukee boy previously was convicted of neglecting a baby who was “tortured” in her home and died from his injuries, court records show.

The 7-year-old boy was taken from a home near S. 19th St. and W. National Ave. and to a hospital Tuesday, police said. He was suffering from numerous injuries and died several hours later, according to authorities. An autopsy was ordered to determine the cause of death.

Milwaukee police arrested two women, 47 and 44, in the boy’s death, which is being investigated as a homicide, officials said Wednesday. The Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare was notified of the death, police said.

The relationship between the women and the child was not clear Wednesday. Police later said they had also arrested two male suspects who investigators said failed to act to prevent bodily harm.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel typically does not name uncharged suspects, and police say the investigation is ongoing.

2003 death of boy

The 44-year-old woman was convicted of fatal child neglect in the 2003 death of a 1-year-old boy, Bryan, and was sentenced to 18 months in prison and four years of extended supervision, court records show.

The woman had taken in Bryan after his mother called the woman and said she had been kicked out of a house. The woman agreed to watch the baby until the mother could get back on her feet.

Two weeks later, Bryan was dead.

About 3:15 p.m. April 15, 2003, a 911 caller reported a baby was injured at a home in the 5000 block of N. 50th St. When paramedics arrived, they found Bryan without a pulse.

The baby had bruises all over his body, head trauma and a split lip, but the most grievous injury was to his left arm.

It had been broken twice, ballooned with swelling and developed gangrene, causing his skin to slough off.

The woman and others claimed the child had suffered a spider bite.

The woman, then 30, was arrested and her sister and daughter were charged with abusing the baby. The woman pleaded guilty to child neglect resulting in death and was released from extended supervision in October 2008, a state Department of Corrections spokesman said.

The woman’s sister told detectives she was responsible for some of the injuries and believed his death was her fault, according to a criminal complaint. The sister, then 19, was sentenced to 17 years in prison and 13 years of extended supervision.

2 weeks of torture

During sentencing for the woman’s 17-year-old daughter, who also admitted to hurting the child, then-prosecutor Mark Williams listed the abuses the baby suffered.

“The child was literally tortured for two weeks,” he said, according to a transcript. “He was tortured in many different ways.”

“He was beaten. He was humiliated by the spreading of the ears. His arm was broken at least one time. It was broken, actually twice,” Williams continued.

“There are head injuries. The child was pushed down. He was hit in the head. He was hit in the trunk area. He was hit in the legs, and there are even bruises on his feet.”

“The medical examiner said this child probably suffered so much that he even lost his will to live, and that’s extremely sad,” Williams said.

The woman’s daughter was sentenced to 10 1/2 years in prison and 12 years of extended supervision.