A woman and her partner accused of strangling her eight-year-old son to death after years of apparent abuse are facing the death penalty in Texas.
Megan Lange, 29, and Rodolfo Reyes, 33, from the city of Odessa, Texas, USA, are accused of throttling Lange’s son Arturo Francisco Coca.
They have both been charged with capital murder, which carries a maximum sentence of death by lethal injection.
Odessa police and firefighters had responded to a 911 call to the family home on 5th November and found paramedics trying to revive the boy.
Emergency services worker said that the child apparently had “suspicious injuries” on his body that included lacerations to his head, back and legs.
Local media reported that the child appears to be small and malnourished for his age.
Arturo was rushed to hospital by ambulance but pronounced dead on arrival.
His mother Lange told police that on the day of his death, Arturo had soiled himself and she had been helping him in the bathroom.
She then claimed that they went to the living room where he fell backwards and hit his head, prompting her to call 911.
But the six other children who live in the home told investigators that Arturo had been fatally wounded.
Reyes told investigators that he was in the home at the time of the fatal injuries and claimed that he was not the cause of them.
After that, he reportedly requested a lawyer and refused to say anything else.
An autopsy showed that Arturo had died as a result of “asphyxiation by manual strangulation” and that neglect and malnourishment were contributing factors.
They also found that he had haemorrhaging throughout his neck.
Both suspects have been remanded in custody.
The investigation is ongoing.