(NY DAILY NEWS) – Six-year-old Deshaun Martinez starved to death while being kept in a closet, an autopsy report on the Flagstaff boy has found.
When he died, he weighed 18 pounds, which would have been healthy if he were age 1.
Parents Jose Archibeque-Martinez, 23, and Elizabeth Archibeque-Martinez, 26, and grandmother Ann Marie Martinez, 50, are charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping and child abuse in his death and have pleaded not guilty. They are being held on $3 million bond, according to People.
The boy’s cause of death was starvation, according to a newly released autopsy report obtained by the Associated Press. His manner of death is listed as homicide, AP said.
Prosecutors have until late July to decide whether they will seek capital punishment in the case.
Police found the boy unresponsive on the floor of his living room in March after receiving a call. The parents said he and his 7-year-old brother were kept in a closet from 8 p.m. until noon the following day, every day. They were being punished for stealing food at night, the parents told police.
The boys were fed nothing but oatmeal around noon and a cheese sandwich about four hours later, stated court documents obtained by KSAZ-TV.
The parents initially told police their son was malnourished due to a medical condition, AP said. Deshaun weighed 34 pounds at age 4 but was just 27 pounds a year later, AP said. His weight a year later put him in a “non-life-sustaining state of starvation,” medical examiner Lawrence Czarnecki told AP.
The boy also had abrasions and bruises on his body that weren’t life-threatening, AP said, citing the autopsy report.
Deshaun’s three other siblings – which include a 2-year-old and 4-year-old in addition to the 7-year-old brother – were taken under the wing of the Arizona Department of Child Safety, department spokesman Darren DaRonco told KSAZ in March, adding, “DCS mourns the tragic loss of this innocent life.”
With News Wire Services