Parents held on cruelty counts
“They (Xzayvion Riley and his two sisters) never came outside to play. I don’t think they were allowed to.” Stan Riley, neighbor, who is not related to Lavaughn or Xzayvion Riley, but took the boy to get his hair cut every week
Authorities on Tuesday arrested a man and a woman after finding a bite mark and multiple bruises, cuts and abrasions on the Baton Rouge couple’s deceased 8-year-old son.
Michael Robertson, 46, of 11480 Glenda Drive, and Lavaughn Riley, 32, of 8711 Coy Ave., were booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on a count of second-degree cruelty to a juvenile following the death of Xzayvion Riley, East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Casey Rayborn Hicks said Wednesday.
Robertson and Lavaughn Riley are both being held on $150,000 bail.
Hicks said the couple could face additional charges once Coroner William Clark determine’s Xzayvion’s cause of death. An autopsy is scheduled for Friday.
Deputies were called to Lavaughn Riley’s Coy Avenue apartment Tuesday afternoon in reference to the boy, who was unresponsive, Hicks said.
Paramedics took Xzayvion to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival, Hicks said. Hospital medical staff examining the boy found 56 bruises, cuts and abrasions on the child, including an adult-size bite mark on his stomach, Hicks said.
Riley admitted to deputies that she beat her son and caused some of the bruises on his body, Hicks said.
Riley also said the victim’s father, Robertson, beat the child and caused the bruises and scratches on the victim’s neck, Hicks said.
Riley said she heard what sounded like Robertson possibly throwing the boy against the wall, Hicks said. Riley did not specify when she heard such a noise, Hicks said.
The victim’s sibling told deputies that Robertson beat the child with his fist from noon Monday until Monday evening, Hicks said.
The sibling also said she saw Robertson bite the child on a regular basis as a form of discipline and that Xzayvion vomited before he went to bed Monday night, Hicks said.
Robertson denied any involvement in his son’s injuries, Hicks said.
Stan Riley is not related to Lavaughn or Xzayvion Riley but lives near them in the Gardere Lane area.
The neighbor said Wednesday he did not know Lavaughn Riley or Michael Robertson but took Xzayvion to get his hair cut every Wednesday.
“He was a good kid,” Stan Riley said. “All he wanted to do was sit in front of the television and eat his cereal.”
Riley said the boy walked with a limp from an old leg injury and that he possibly had a heart condition.
Riley said he never saw anyone beat Xzayvion, but that he could have easily missed the signs since the child always wore pants and long-sleeve shirts.
“They never came outside to play,” Riley said of Xzayvion and his two sisters. “I don’t think they were allowed to.”
Riley said he never heard any yelling or screaming inside the boy’s house, only loud music.
Teshawn Anderson lives in the apartment above Lavaughn and Xzayvion Riley and said Wednesday she has heard people inside the residence yelling but that everyone in her complex yells.
“It’s not unusual,” Anderson said, adding that Xzayvion seemed like a “sweet boy” and was the first one to say hello to her after moving to the area three months ago.
“I still can’t believe what happened to him,” Anderson said. “I wonder what he did to make them beat him like that.”
Several of Robertson’s neighbors on Glenda Drive declined comment Wednesday, saying they did not know him.
Trey Williams, a spokesman for the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services, said Wednesday that Xzayvion’s siblings are in state custody and that his office is aiding law enforcement authorities with their investigation into the boy’s parents.
Williams said state law prohibits him from saying publicly whether his office has investigated the couple prior to Tuesday’s incident.