A 9-year-old child is dead, and his killer — his mother’s boyfriend — is in police custody, facing murder charges. The child, Jack Kirby Garcia, of Hagerstown, Md., died of injuries he sustained from a beating administered last week by Robert Leroy Wilson, 30. The reason for the beating? Young Jack had helped himself to a piece of birthday cake.
Court records show that Wilson tearfully admitted to beating the boy after he caught him eating a slice of birthday cake without permission. Police arrested Wilson Thursday. Wilson allegedly handcuffed the boy and beat him repeatedly as punishment for stealing the cake.
The child’s mother told investigators her son had a problem with stealing and that Wilson said he “put handcuffs on him because that was what was expected of him” when he would steal.
Although the mother was at work when the assault occurred, an uncle who was present in the home and called 911, but when an ambulance arrived, a family member told paramedics the child was “simply congested.”
Jack, who lost consciousness, was left unattended for several hours. When he remained unresponsive, EMTs were summoned to the house a second time. This time, they were escorted by police, who noticed bruising and abrasions to the child’s face and body.
Wilson was initally charged with first-degree and second-degree assault, child abuse, and reckless endangerment. However, Hagerstown Police Capt. Paul Kifer told the “Hagerstown Herald-Mail,” a local newspaper, that additional charges against Wilson are now under discussion. Wilson is being held at the Washington County Detention Center on a $1 million bond.
Remarkably, this is not the first time a child was savagely beaten for the offense of eating cake. In January, a Memphis toddler suffered a dislocated vertebra and a broken femur from a beating, again at the hand’s of his mother’s boyfriend. Last October, another 3-year-old was punched and choked so severely that she died on the spot. Once more, the punishment was meted out by the mother’s beau, though this time the child’s crime was daring to soil her diaper.