Texas Mother and Boyfriend Arrested for Allegedly Beating 4-Year-Old to Death After Shooting Heroin
The mother allegedly said that her daughter was tied up and beaten frequently
A Texas mother and her boyfriend were arrested last Friday for allegedly beating the mother’s four-year-old daughter to death after they used heroin, PEOPLE confirms.
Jeri Quezada, 30, and Charles Phifer, 34, were arrested after authorities responded to a 911 call and found Leiliana Wright not breathing and allegedly “covered in bruises” in their Grand Prairie, Texas, home, officials tell PEOPLE.
Leiliana’s mother, Quezada, allegedly originally told authorities Leiliana had fallen in the shower. Authorities began to perform CPR on Leiliana, during which time Quezada allegedly yelled, “Oh my God,” according to an arrest warrant obtained by PEOPLE.
Ultimately, authorities say, Quezada allegedly changed her story and admitted to beating her daughter. She allegedly told authorities that the day before her daughter died, she and Phifer used heroin together and began hitting Leiliana for drinking her little brother’s juice.
“Both Jeri and she Charles began to hit the child with a belt, and a bamboo stick due to her drinking the 18-month old child’s juice,” the warrant states.
Hours before Leiliana died, Quezada told authorities that she and her boyfriend used heroin while Leiliana was tied up in a closet because Quezada felt the child “couldn’t see her mother doing drugs.”
According to Quezada’s statement, the little girl was allegedly tied up frequently.
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After they allegedly used heroin, Phifer allegedly beat Leiliana after she threw up, Quezada told police, according to the warrant.
At some point, Leiliana began to choke on a peanut butter sandwich, the warrant states. Quezada told authorities that instead of assisting her daughter, she hit her on the back of the head and told her to swallow, the warrant states.
“She then said that Charles put on black gloves, and forced the child’s mouth open while he poured Pedialyte” – an electrolyte solution to prevent dehydration – “into her mouth,” the warrant states.
During the episode, Phifer allegedly began slamming the child into the wall.
The warrant reads: “[Quezada] described Charles [allegedly] shoving the child against a piece of drywall that was inside the closet, all while holding her by the throat with one hand.”
Quezada told authorities that while Phifer was allegedly beating the child, he cursed at her for throwing up. He then allegedly threw her back into the closet and closed the door.
After some time, Quezada asked her daughter if she wanted to come out for a shower. Leiliana agreed and was taken to the bathroom, the warrant states.
Quezada says she then heard her boyfriend go into the bathroom and allegedly yell at the girl. Moments later, Quezada says she heard her daughter fall in the shower, the warrant states.
An autopsy performed by the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Officer ruled the four-year-old’s death as a homicide as a result of blunt force trauma to the abdomen and head.
According to the warrant, doctors allegedly discovered whip marks on the child’s back as well as severe bruising on her buttocks and back of her thighs. She was allegedly covered “head to toe” with extensive bruises, the warrant says.
Quezada and Phifer are both charged with injury to a child and remain in the Grand Praire jail. They have not yet entered a plea, and no information about their attorneys was immediately available.