Xzayvion Riley’s mother sobbed softly after pleading not guilty Wednesday to a first-degree murder charge in the June beating death of her 8-year-old son.
Lavaughn Riley, 32, was shackled and dressed in dark green East Baton Rouge Parish Prison clothes as she and her court-appointed attorney, Margaret Lagattuta, stood in front of state District Judge Don Johnson.
The judge scheduled Riley’s next court appearance for Nov. 13.
The boy’s father, Michael Anthony Robertson, 46, also appeared in Johnson’s courtroom Wednesday, but his arraignment on a first-degree murder charge was delayed until Aug. 27. Robertson also was shackled and wore an orange and white striped Parish Prison jumpsuit.
Robertson’s attorneys with the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center in New Orleans have filed a number of motions, including one for a bail reduction.
Robertson, 11480 Glenda Drive, and Riley, 8711 Coy Ave., were indicted last week by an East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury and are being held without bail.
East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s deputies were called to Riley’s Coy Avenue apartment the afternoon of June 12 in reference to the boy, who was unresponsive, sheriff’s spokeswoman Casey Rayborn Hicks has said. Paramedics took Xzayvion to a hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Riley and Robertson were initially booked on a count of second-degree cruelty to a juvenile following their son’s death, but the counts were changed to first-degree murder after East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner Beau Clark deemed Xzayvion’s death a homicide.
Preliminary autopsy results show the boy died of “overwhelming infection,” caused by a ruptured bowel from blunt-force trauma to his abdomen, Clark has said. The autopsy also showed 60 external signs of recent and old trauma, including abrasions, bruises and a human bite mark, he said.
Hicks has said Riley admitted to deputies that she beat her son and caused some of the bruises on his body. Riley also said Robertson beat the child and caused the bruises and scratches on his neck, Hicks stated.
Robertson denied any involvement in his son’s injuries, Hicks has said.
East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III has said his office has not decided whether to seek the death penalty against Robertson and Riley.