A Phoenix couple are facing first-degree murder and child abuse charges in the beating death of their 2-year-old son.Phoenix police officers and Phoenix Fire Department paramedics responded to the family’s apartment near 83rd Avenue and McDowell Road for a report of a child not breathing.
They found the boy unresponsive and paramedics transported him to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.A witness told police that he heard the boy’s father, Darnell Moses Alvarez, 24, disciplining him in the morning and again in the afternoon. He said he did not see the discipline but described it as “excessive.”
The boy’s mother, Davieanna Marlena Blake, 21, told investigators that Alvarez hit the child with a belt after discovering he had wet himself. Blake said she did not intervene because she did not want to upset Alvarez any further, according to the documents.
Blake said she then went to work and when she returned home, she saw her son had multiple bruises on his body and was lethargic. She told police that Alvarez did not want to take the boy to the hospital because Child Protective Services would be called, according to the court papers. The child stopped breathing while the couple argued.
Alvarez told investigators that he hit his son two times with a belt for urinating in the bed that morning. He said that later in the day, he hit the child multiple times with a belt after he defecated in his underwear and got feces all over the bathroom.
According to court documents, the toddler had large bruises on his legs, arms, buttocks, back and face. An autopsy revealed the boy had a lacerated liver, internal bleeding and bruising throughout his body.
Alvarez and Blake were arrested Thursday morning. Alvarez’s bond was set at $500,000 and Blake’s bond was set at $250,000.
The court documents show the couple have a history of domestic violence and police suspect that they were under the influence of alcohol or drugs.