SALEM (WSLS 10) – A man and woman will spend the next three and half decades in prison after one child was found dead and another bruised last September.
On September 30, Antonio J. Lebron entered a guilty plea to one count of second-degree murder, two counts of child abuse or neglect and two counts of child cruelty. He was sentenced to 50 years, with 22 suspended, in prison
On October 5, Danielle Janine Burnett entered a guilty plea to one count of second-degree murder and two counts of child abuse or neglect. She was sentenced to 30 years, with 18 suspended, in prison
These sentences are the result of Grand Jury indictments that were returned on December 11, 2015.
On September 24, 2015, the Salem Police Department, Salem Fire & EMS, and Roanoke County EMS responded to the 100 block of Front Avenue in reference to a call of an unresponsive child.
Upon arrival, emergency responders located a 4-year-old boy and transported him to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital with serious injuries to his torso and head.
Lebron, who lived at the home with the child’s mother, told police that the child had fallen down some stairs earlier that day, but had seemed fine until he fell asleep later in the afternoon and failed to wake up when called for dinner.
Burnett, the mother, claimed to have no knowledge of the child being injured because she had been at work all day. The child was treated with surgery and other measures, but died three days later on Sunday, September 27.
An autopsy revealed the cause of death as blunt force trauma to the head and torso, and the manner of death as homicide. A second boy, who was 6 years old and also lived in the home, was found to have multiple bruises and contusions over his legs and buttocks, but did not require hospitalization. Subsequent investigation revealed that the children had injuries that had been the subject of a previous Child Protective Services investigation in Buffalo, New York, before moving to Salem.