Tucson boy, 4, in abuse case dies

2013-03-25T12:11:00Z 2013-03-25T12:55:01Z Tucson boy, 4, in abuse case diesKim Smith Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

A Tucson woman and her boyfriend, who were arrested last week on suspicion of child abuse, are now facing first-degree murder charges because her 4-year-old son died Saturday as a result of injuries he received Wednesday night in a severe beating, said Tucson Police Sgt. Maria Hawke.

Judy Minley, 26, and James Dwight Robinson, 27, were arrested Thursday by Tucson Police detectives after they admitted they beat the boy for up to an hour for "talking back," the prior evening, court documents indicate.

It is the policy of the Tucson Police Department not to release the names of deceased victims under the age of 14, Hawke said.

Tucson Fire Department paramedics were summoned to an apartment in the 5400 block of East Williams Boulevard around 11 a.m. Thursday after being told a child had been found “drowning in a bathtub,” court documents state.

Paramedics found the boy unconscious, unresponsive and bleeding from his buttocks, court documents state. The boy's heart stopped on the way to the hospital, but he was revived and arrived at the hospital in critical condition.

Minley and Robinson told detectives the boy had been disobedient the night before and had talked back to them, court documents state. Minley said she tried to make the boy hold 8-pound bottles of laundry detergent in each hand and when he refused, she and Robinson stripped him and whipped him with a sandal, records show.

When the sandal broke, Minley said she taped it up and gave it back to Robinson so he could continue to beat the boy, court documents state.

Minley admitted to being frustrated with the boy and telling Robinson to deal with him.

Robinson told detectives the beating lasted 45 to 60 minutes straight, court documents state.

The "drowning" was reported the next morning.

“There was no indication that the boy had actually been underwater or nearly drowned as was originally reported,” Hawke said in a news release.

Minley’s and Robinson’s bonds have been set at $500,000 each.

Contact reporter Kim Smith at 573-4241 or kimsmith@azstarnet.com

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