Francis Lyles Held in the Death of 3-Year-Old Son

Francis Lyles was ordered held Wednesday on suspicion of first-degree felony murder and first-degree cruelty to children in connection to the death of Xavier Lyles.

Police found the 3-year-old toddler unconscious and unresponsive in the 2500 block of Pomeroy Road Southeast, with multiple injuries to his body on June 24.

Lyles told police that while Xavier was sleeping the night of June 23, she left the apartment for approximately 20 to 30 minutes to get some food from a nearby cousin’s apartment, according to charging documents.

According to Lyles, her boyfriend watched Xavier while she was gone and Xavier was still sleeping when she returned, documents say.

Lyles’ boyfriend told police he didn’t see anything unusual that night because he left around 7:30 p.m.

Lyles told police that she didn’t check on the toddler again until morning. When she noticed he wasn’t responding, she called her cousin and then 911.

In an interview, Lyles initially told police that she “hardly ever physically disciplines her children” and that her boyfriend doesn’t hit them at all, but in a later interview she said she hits them occasionally and believed that her boyfriend must have hurt Xavier while she was gone, according to documents.

Lyles’ boyfriend told police he never hit Xavier, but has witnessed Lyles beating the children and punching the toddler in the chest with a closed fist after the child soiled his clothing, documents say.

According to charging documents, Lyles’ nine-year-old daughter told police when Xavier got in trouble he would receive “butt whippings” and that her mommy spanked Xavier all the time because he was “bad.”

Lyles’ daughter also told police that her mother’s boyfriend never hit her or 3-year-old Xavier Lyles, documents say.

Witnesses told police that they heard “screaming and hollering” coming from Lyles’ apartment the night before and that Lyles has a history of abuse towards her children, documents say.

A witness provided recorded telephone conversations to police where Lyles boasted to it that she “f**ked him up good,” after Xavier tripped over a bouncer seat.

Lyles is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on October 2 before Judge Lynn Leibovitz.

A copy of charging documents are below.

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