MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – A Homestead man facing second degree murder charges for allegedly beating his 2-year-old son to death last August beat the rap this weekend, but he had to kill himself to do so, CBSMiami.com has learned.
Miami-Dade Department of Corrections spokeswoman Janelle Hall confirmed Lee Willie DeJesus was discovered dead in his cell Saturday night, an apparent suicide. Jail officials did not say how he killed himself.
DeJesus had been on suicide watch when he was first arrested.
DeJesus, 24, had been in jail awaiting trial. Police say DeJesus had armed his fists with 16 oz. boxing gloves and punched the child 15 times in the face, head, torso and shoulders. The child hit his head on the bedroom wall and the tile floor, police said, after being knocked off the bed where DeJesus had been boxing with the boy.
DeJesus had told police he was teaching his son to box.
The arrest report said DeJesus saw the child go limp and thought he might be having a seizure, but did not call for medical help right away. Instead, police said, DeJesus waited between 30 minutes to 1 hour and called 911, after the child’s lips turned blue.
He originally blamed a babysitter for the child’s death, however some family members had suspected the boy was abused. Apparently, no effort was made to report the suspected abuse.
A medical examiner’s report said the child was killed by ‘blunt force trauma’. In layman’s terms, he was beaten to death.
DeJesus’s mother, Maria, didn’t know all the circumstance but called the news of her son’s death, “a nightmare.”