HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — A grand jury on Wednesday added murder to the charges facing a man accused of fatally beating a 9-year-old boy over a missing piece of birthday cake.
Washington County State’s Attorney Charles Strong also announced indictments against the two other defendants charged in Jack Garcia’s death. Mother Oriana Garcia, her boyfriend Robert “Roy” Wilson and her brother Jacob Barajas are now all charged with second-degree murder and multiple counts of child abuse and assault in the boy’s beating June 30 and his death five days later.
Each is also charged with child neglect, and Wilson is charged with reckless endangerment. The charges against each defendant carry maximum penalties of at least 150 years in prison.
Their public defenders didn’t immediately return telephone calls from The Associated Press.
Wilson, 30, was initially charged before the boy died; Garcia, 26, and Barajas, 23, were arrested afterward, as police said they were packing up and preparing to leave the state.
Police say Jack was handcuffed by Barajas and beaten by Wilson for eating a piece of birthday cake belonging to Wilson’s 2-year-old daughter by another woman. Garcia is accused of allowing a pattern of escalating physical violence, participating in milder forms of abusive discipline and denying Jack medical treatment for hours after he was beaten unconscious by sending away an ambulance her brother had called.
Wilson was being monitored by the county’s social services agency as recently as December, after a report last April of child maltreatment, according to a state Department of Human Resources document obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press. The report concerned the then 9-year-old daughter of a woman with whom Wilson lived before Garcia moved herself, her son and brother from California last winter.
The document doesn’t detail the reported maltreatment. The matter was handled through an “alternative response,” used for what department spokeswoman Paula Tolson called “certain low risk reports.”
It was the second report that Wilson mistreated the girl. He was charged with abusing her in 2010 but the charge was dropped when he pleaded guilty to an assault charge. The assault conviction was expunged in 2012 as part of the plea deal, leaving Wilson with no criminal record.