News Releases

March 7, 2023: Lancaster Mother, Boyfriend Convicted in Torture Killing of Her 10-Year-Old Son

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Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced that Heather Barron and Kareem Leiva were found guilty today of murder and torture of her 10-year-old son Anthony in June 2018.

“The brutality that was meted out on this young child was unimaginable. No child should endure this kind of violence and torture at the hands of the people who are supposed to love and protect him from harm,” District Attorney Gascón said. “The actions taken by the defendants were truly revolting and I am thankful that they will be held accountable. I am also thankful to the trial team who prosecuted this difficult and traumatic case.”

A judge found Barron (dob 9/29/89) and Leiva (dob 12/23/85) guilty of one count each of first-degree murder and torture and two counts of child abuse. The special circumstance allegation of murder involving the infliction of torture was found to be true.

Both sides waived their right to a jury trial and opted to have Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Sam Ohta hear the case.

Sentencing has been scheduled for April 25 when both defendants face up to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

On June 20, 2008, Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies responded to a home in the 1100 block of East Avenue K in Lancaster. Anthony A. was taken to a hospital where he died the following day.

The defendants tortured the boy every day for two weeks leading up to his death. The pair also were convicted of assaulting two of Anthony’s half-siblings.

Case BA464607 was investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide and Special Victims bureaus.