Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Godmother of boy beaten to death after eating dessert is arrested

Sandra Annette Blackmon

Bianca Prieto

Sentinel Staff Writer

5:15 PM EDT, October 30, 2007

The godmother of an Orange County boy who died at the hands of his older brother last month was arrested today on charges of child abuse and child neglect.

Investigators said they discovered evidence that Sandra Annette Blackmon, who had taken care of Levares Key most of his life, had abused the 8-year-old boy prior to his death on Sept. 29. She returned him to his biological mother, Tangela Key, a few months earlier.

The older brother, Demetrius Key, 13, told investigators he punched, kicked and hit Levares several times after he ate a dessert and picked at a scab. Demetrius had been left in charge of several of his younger siblings while Tangela Key was not at home.

Levares died of a closed head injury, the Orange County medical examiner found. According to the arrest affidavit for Blackmon, he also was a "chronically battered child."

The medical examiner found several injuries in various stages of healing all over the young boy's body, including numerous scars on his backside, investigators said. Blackmon told investigators she left about 30 permanent scars on his rear and back from where she hit him.

Tangela Key told investigators that Levares recounted instances where Blackmon beat him.

Demetrius was charged with premeditated murder but will not be charged as an adult.

Tangela Key was arrested shortly after Levares' death and charged with child neglect.

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