DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. – A 3-year-old boy died after his mother held him in a tub of scalding water as punishment on Christmas Day and his grandmother, who had custody, failed to get him medical care for a week, authorities said Monday.
The mother had lost custody of the boy for previous abuse.
Broward County sheriff's deputies found Jaquez Mason with burns over 50 percent of his body after getting a 911 call Sunday morning. He was pronounced dead a half hour later. It was unclear why he was punished, spokesman Jim Leljedal said.
His mother, Valerie Kennedy, 30, was charged with child abuse murder and jailed without bond. His grandmother, Annie Williams, 51, accused of failing to take the boy for medical treatment, was charged with manslaughter and was being held on $10,000 bond.
Deputies said a court had placed Jaquez in the custody of his grandmother because of past abuse by the mother. Despite that, Williams allowed the boy to spend Christmas with Kennedy, officials said.
That evening, Kennedy told Williams that Jaquez got burned, and Williams took her grandson back to her Deerfield Beach home and applied ointment to his burns, officials said.
Both women gave statements to homicide detectives, admitting their involvement, officials said.
A man who answered the phone at the grandmother's house refused to talk about the child or what happened. Court records did not list an attorney for either woman.