ORLANDO, Fla. – New details were released in the murder investigation of a toddler who was beaten to death at an Orange County apartment, officials said.
Xavier Mokarzel-Satchel, 3, died of blunt force trauma Friday evening after he was taken to Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital when he was found unconscious inside an apartment on Silver Star Road, the Orange County Sheriff's Office said.
According to an arrest report, the child's mother, Brandi Mokarzel, said she woke up to the sound of her girlfriend's mother, Callene Barton, yelling at Xavier for drinking from a milk jug and eating yogurt.
Mokarzel told deputies she witnessed her girlfriend, Lakesha Lewis, beating the toddler with a plastic rod used to turn window blinds, according to the arrest report.
After taking her son to her bedroom, Mokarzel said Barton then grabbed the boy by his arm and leg and threw him down a hallway, causing his neck to turn, the document said. Xavier then began shaking like he was having a seizure, the report said.
Xavier was taken to the hospital, where he later died, sheriff's officials said.
Lewis and Barton were charged with aggravated child abuse and first-degree murder. A judge denied bail for both women over the weekend.
Deputies said Lewis' 4-year-old son, who also lived in the apartment, was placed in the custody of the Department of Children and Families. DCF secretary Mike Carroll said that child has had a previous interaction with the child welfare system.
“The tragic death of this innocent child is heartbreaking and we are horrified by the alleged actions of the individuals involved. DCF is actively investigating this case and will continue to support law enforcement in any way possible to hold those responsible accountable,” Carroll said.
Mokarzel was also arrested and charged with child neglect. She told investigators Barton and Lewis have hit Xavier in the past, officials said.
According to the report, the toddler had healing injuries, which showed signs of prior abuse.
A judge on Monday ruled that there is probably cause for the charge of child neglect against Mokarzel. She was ordered to be held on $2,500 bond.
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