TACOMA, Wash. (TCD) — A 25-year-old woman who was arrested last week after her young son was found “cold to the touch” in their apartment allegedly beat and abused him until he died.
On Sunday, Feb. 12, Tacoma Police Department officers went to an apartment on the 3200 block of South Mason Avenue regarding an unresponsive child. Medics arrived at the scene and pronounced him deceased. Another child was in the home at the same time and was placed in protective custody. Police took a woman into custody on a charge of second-degree murder.
Now, Ivey Lewis’ arrest affidavit is revealing more details about her child’s death and the abuse he allegedly endured. She is now being charged with first-degree murder and second-degree murder. Lewis’ friend told police he went to Lewis’ apartment after the Super Bowl to “hang out,” but when he got there, she supposedly told him that there was “something wrong” with her son. The friend, who was identified in the affidavit only as J.P., saw the boy was not responsive and called 911.
When police arrived at the apartment, they found the child, P.L., on his back with his “knees slightly bent,” as well as burn marks and bruises on his face. Officers performed CPR on the young boy, even though rigor mortis had already set in. Ivey reportedly told police her son “ran into the wall and hit his head,” which she said happened “regularly.”
Ivey claimed her son was sleeping next to the heater when she found him unresponsive. The affidavit described the apartment as being “so hot that one of the officers reported that it was difficult to breathe inside.”
According to the affidavit, the child had “obvious trauma to the front of his head,” including swelling near his eyebrows, bruising close to the crown of his head, and blood around his mouth. A suspected burn reportedly covered “large area on the left side of his face.”
Detectives removed a sweatshirt the boy was wearing when officers found him and saw wounds all over his body that looked like he had been struck with a looped object. Detectives also found small circular marks on his chest, which “appeared to coincide with an electric shock device (Taser) located on the kitchen table,” and blood spatter on a bedroom wall.
Lewis reportedly told detectives she woke up at approximately 6:45 p.m. and saw her son sleeping near the heater. She said his eyes were “fluttering,” but he wasn’t responding. She then put his feet in water and left him on a bed. The friend who called 911, J.P., arrived soon after.
The affidavit says Lewis admitted she “typically made P.L. stand in the corner in ‘time-out’ as punishment, and that she rarely ‘swatted’ him on the butt or hand with her hands.” She said she hit him with a belt after she saw her son “cuddling” with a girl but denied ever using an electrical cord on him.
J.P., however, reportedly told detectives he saw Lewis strike her son with an electrical cord on several parts of his body because the child peed on a mattress. Lewis allegedly moved the mattress out of the room, which subsequently left the boy “without a sleeping area.”
J.P. had been staying with Lewis “on and off” for several weeks, but the day before the boy was found dead, Lewis told J.P. he couldn’t stay there anymore because of his methamphetamine use. Lewis, who is pregnant, admitted to using meth a few days prior to her son’s death. A test found Lewis’ 1-year-old son had meth in his system.
According to the affidavit, Lewis said her deceased son was in foster care starting from when he was 10 months old until about six months ago, and she was under the supervision of Child Protective Services.
The preliminary autopsy report found the 3-year-old died from blunt force trauma to the head and his manner of death was homicide. Lewis could face additional charges related to her 1-year-old son found with meth.
Pierce County Jail records show her bail is set at $2 million.
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