Mom, boyfriend charged in boy's death; Authorities: 9-year-old weighed 39 pounds at death

HOUSTON – A man and woman are accused in the death of a 9-year-old boy who authorities say weighed only 39 pounds at the time of his death.

Ladesmon Lewis, 25, and Ramona Stevenson, 27, are both charged with injury to a child. 

Records show the charge stems from Dayleon Antoine’s death at his home on July 14, 2017. He was found dead at the bottom of his mother’s bed. 

Authorities said in court documents that the boy's body had cuts, scars, bruises and bedsores and had little muscle tone. An autopsy revealed he had suffered from severe dehydration, malnourishment and had signs of a condition called pica in which he ingested anything that he could, including paper and plastic. The condition left him with a "congealed" mass in his stomach, records show.

Stevenson, according to court documents, claimed that her son suffered from seizures since an early age, but she felt his medication didn’t help him, and didn't refill his medication when another one of her children had knocked over the bottle. 

Records show the boy didn't attend school or day care, and that Stevenson and Lewis were his sole caretakers.

Stevenson and Lewis claim they thought something might be wrong with the boy in the early morning hours of July 14, 2017, but failed to act on that feeling. 

Lewis said he "kicked" Dayleon to wake him up that morning and that the boy felt “cold to the touch, but he did not think anything of it again,” records show.

Lewis said in court records that he was downstairs that morning when Stevenson started yelling for him after finding Dayleon was “stiff and rigid,” according to court documents.

Medical professionals cited by authorities in records indicated that it had been 11 months since Dayleon had seen a doctor, and that his parents did not show for clinic appointments.

Stevenson was taken into custody on April 2 and Lewis, on June 6.

About the Author:

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.