UPDATE: Judge Unseals Grand Jury Indictment Transcripts in Murder Case of Lancaster Boy

December 03, 2018 - 12:40 pm

(KNX 1070/CNS) -  The judge in the murder case of a 10-year-old, who was tortured to death in Lancaster, says the public has the right to know what led to a murder indictment, against the boy’s mother and her boyfriend.

On Monday, the judge unsealed the grand jury transcripts, which includes potentially gruesome details.

One big question hanging in the balance for both Heather Maxine Barron and her boyfriend Kareem Ernesto Leiva, is whether prosecutors will seek the death penalty against them —  and that decision may be be expected in March. They’re charged with murder in the June torture-death of her 10 year old, Anthony.

Authorities say Anthony died in June after being severely abused by the couple. Before the pretrial hearing, the attorney for the relatives of the boy, Brian Claypool, told KNX they're pushing for the judge to make public the Grand Jury transcripts on the case, saying "we need to have access to grand jury proceedings so we can stop this code of secrecy that seems to blanket sexual abuse and child abuse cases."

KNX reporter Craig Fiegener:

Other media organizations were also pushing for those transcripts to be made public including the Los Angeles Times and others.

In October, the woman and her boyfriend pleaded not guilty today to torturing and murdering her 10-year-old son in Lancaster in a case in which the two could now face the death penalty if they are convicted.

The boy's mother, Heather Maxine Barron, 29, and her boyfriend, Kareem Ernesto Leiva, 32, are charged with killing Avalos and torturing him in the days leading up to his June 21 death.