Homicide

Mom's friend calls her a loving parent to boy allegedly killed for eating cake without OK

This Feb. 13, 2015 photo provided by Daniel Fletcher shows Jack Garcia in Goleta, Calif.  Police arrested Oriana Garcia, 26, and Jacob Barajas, 23, on Monday, July 13, and charged them with second-degree murder in Jack Garcia's death. He died July 5, from injuries police say were inflicted as punishment for eating a piece of birthday cake without permission. (Daniel Fletcher via AP).

This Feb. 13, 2015 photo provided by Daniel Fletcher shows Jack Garcia in Goleta, Calif. Police arrested Oriana Garcia, 26, and Jacob Barajas, 23, on Monday, July 13, and charged them with second-degree murder in Jack Garcia's death. He died July 5, from injuries police say were inflicted as punishment for eating a piece of birthday cake without permission. (Daniel Fletcher via AP).  (The Associated Press)

An ex-boyfriend says a woman charged in connection with the fatal beating of her 9-year-old son over a piece of birthday cake was a loving parent who didn't believe in corporal punishment.

Daniel Fletcher said Tuesday he doesn't believe Oriana Garcia knew her son Jack was in peril when police say she refused the services of an ambulance her brother had called to their Hagerstown apartment on June 30.

Paramedics were called back five hours later. Jack died July 5. Garcia's boyfriend, Robert WiIson, is charged with delivering the blows the killed him.

Wilson, Garcia and her brother Jacob Barajas are now all charged in connection with Jack's death.

The mother and uncle are due in court Tuesday afternoon for a review of their bail, set at $5 million each.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

The mother and uncle of a 9-year-old boy who police have said was handcuffed and beaten for eating birthday cake without permission now face charges in his death.

Police arrested Oriana Garcia, 26, and Jacob Barajas, 23, on Monday and charged them with second-degree murder in Jack Garcia's death, Hagerstown Police Capt. Paul Kifer said in a news release.

Police said detectives learned that Garcia and Barajas were planning to return to the West Coast where they are from originally.

Kifer said that on June 30, Barajas handcuffed Jack to a chair, and Garcia's boyfriend, 30-year-old Robert Wilson, hit him.

Police alleged that Oriana Garcia turned paramedics away when they were first called to her home, saying the boy was only "congested" and didn't need medical attention.

When paramedics were called to the home again four hours later, they found Jack unconscious and with numerous bruises and cuts, Kifer said. They brought him to a hospital and called police. Shortly after, Wilson was charged with first-degree assault and child abuse.

Jack died July 5 at a Washington hospital. Kifer did not say whether more serious charges would be filed against Wilson.

Kifer said Oriana Garcia had abused her son in the past. He did not elaborate.

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AP writer Kasey Jones contributed to this story from Baltimore.