Couple plead not guilty in Maywood child’s death

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By Joseph Ruzich, Special to the Tribune
A Maywood mother and her boyfriend pleaded not guilty this morning to charges that they beat and killed her 1-year-old son before disposing the child’s body in the Des Plaines River.

Clad in yellow jumpsuits, Lakeshia Baker, 22, and Michael Scott, 21, showed no emotion during a five-minute hearing before Cook County Judge Paula Daleo at the Cook County courthouse in Maywood.

But family members sitting in the back row in the courtroom became teary-eyed during the hearing.

Daleo accepted the pleas and scheduled the next hearing for June 18.

Baker and Scott are accused of beating Bryeon Hunter with a belt and plastic hangers on April 15 before leaving him to die on the bathroom floor of their Maywood apartment, Cook County prosecutors have said.

The couple initially made up a story that the child had been kidnapped, but police later determined that the kidnapping did not occur. The couple later allegedly confessed to disposing of the body in the river.

A Westchester man who spent weeks searching the river found what is likely to be the child on May 14. Robert Larson, 47, was paddling his kayak just north of 31st Street near the Brookfield Zoo in North Riverside when he noticed the body of a baby face up. Larson operates a K-9 training center in Westchester.

Maywood Police Chief Tim Curry said the decomposed body seemed to resemble the child. But Curry said today he is still waiting for the Cook County medical examiner’s office to identify the child.

Baker is being held without bail. Scott’s bail is $750,000.

Copyright © 2013 Chicago Tribune Company, LL

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  • Esco

    I'm glad they chose a "not guilty " plea. Now after they are PROVEN guilty, a heavier penalty will occur due to their challenge of the charges.

    Hey D.A., no matter what, don't give them a plea deal, go for the MAX!!

  • Caring

    True but I agree with the first comment give them the max!! Either way the mother and boyfriend don’t give no crap!!

  • Caring

    All of you are forgetting the main issue! It’s not about color or nationality it’s about a young child that got killed!