A suburban Chicago mother, who claimed her one-year-old son was kidnapped, is now accused of beating the boy to death for "crying and whining.”
Lakesha Baker, of Maywood, and her live-in boyfriend, Michael Scott, allegedly created a false abduction story after Baker beat her toddler to death with a belt as Scott restrained him and placed a hand over his mouth so his grandmother could not hear his screams. Both Baker and Scott are charged with first-degree murder.
"She indicated that she beat her son with a belt because he was crying and whiny," an assistant state's attorney told Judge Laura Sullivan.
One-year-old Bryeon Hunter has been missing since Tuesday and is presumed dead.
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Baker, 22, filed a police report on Tuesday claiming she and her son were attacked and beaten by three Hispanic men. An Amber Alert was made. She picked three individuals out of a police book of mug shots. The couple rehearsed their story, even coaching Bryeon’s 4-year-old brother.
According to prosecutors, the brother did tell police that he saw Bryeon leave the house with Scott, 21, and never return.
Prosecutors said that the defendant placed the boy’s body in a backpack. However each accused the other of putting the bag in the Des Plaines River. The toddler’s body has not been recovered.
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office said that during police questioning Baker admitted to lying to police and said she beat the toddler so severely on Monday that he died the following day.
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"She also stated that she beat the victim on 4/15/13 while co-defendant Scott covered the child's mouth with his hand and held him down while she beat him with a belt,” an assistant state's attorney told Judge Sullivan.
When the toddler ended up on the bathroom floor, he was "moaning and having difficulty breathing." Bryeon's torso was purple and bruised. He could not move," prosecutors said.
Scott also admitted he knew that the toddler was being abused, but never did anything to stop it.
Baker is being held without bond. Scott is held in lieu of $750,000 bail.