Robert Leroy Wilson is behind bars after police in Maryland say he handcuffed 9-year-old Jack Kirby Garcia and beat the boy to death for stealing a piece of birthday cake.
The incident happened last week, with the young boy taken to the hospital with serious injuries. The boy died on Monday, WJLA reported.
Court records show that the 31-year-old Wilson confessed to beating the boy for eating a slice of birthday cake without permission. The child’s mother, who was dating Wilson, said the man admitted that he would “put handcuffs on him because that was what was expected of him” if the boy was caught stealing.
Authorities said the boy had bruises and contusions across much of his body, including his face, neck, and spinal column. They believe some of the bruises were older, hinting toward a history of abuse.
Wilson was initially charged with first- and second-degree assault, along with child endangerment and reckless endangerment, but after Garcia died, prosecutors said they would seek to upgrade charges.
The boy’s death comes weeks after another disturbing killing made headlines. Khaleel Hussain, a 2-year-old, was killed in 2013 in Coventry, England, and prosecutors now say it was murder. They believe the boy was killed by her mother’s boyfriend, who was angry that the toddler was “acting like a baby.”
Prosecutors said 23-year-old Keith Brown violently shook the boy and then threw him onto a hard surface. Brown, who is on trial for the boy’s murder, said instead it was an accident that happened when he threw the boy up in the air and missed him on the way down.
There is a chance Jack Garcia could have been saved. The boy’s uncle was at home and called police, saying that the boy was having breathing problems, but a relative turned away paramedics and said the boy was just congested.
From USA Today.
“Garcia reportedly was left unconscious in a room for several hours, the Hagerstown Herald-Mail reported. Four hours later, the ambulance was called to the house again again — this time it arrived escorted by police. According to charging documents, the boy was unresponsive and officers noticed extensive bruising and abrasions to his face and body.
The boy died at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.”
Police have not said if anyone else will face charges in the death of Garcia.
Reports indicated that Jack Garcia had just celebrated his birthday three days before his death. Robert Wilson remains in jail on $1 million bail for the boy’s murder.
[Picture by WKRN-TV]