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Trial date set for family of Arizona boy starved to death

Flagstaff child death.jpg
Posted at 7:41 AM, Feb 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-27 09:50:45-05

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — A trial date has been set for the parents and grandmother of a 6-year-old boy who died after being locked in a closet and denied food.

The parents, Elizabeth Archibeque and Anthony Martinez, and the grandmother, Ann Martinez, have pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder, kidnapping and child abuse.

In March 2020, Flagstaff police officers were called to the home after receiving reports of a 6-year-old boy who was unresponsive.

Officers attempted life-saving measures until medical personnel arrived. Authorities were not able to resuscitate him and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police say the 6-year-old appeared malnourished and his physical appearance “did not compliment his age.” There were no obvious signs of trauma to the child’s body. The parents admitted that the boy and his 7-year-old brother would be kept in a bedroom closet and denied food at times.

The parents reportedly said they were kept in the closet because they would sneak out at night and steal food. The grandmother of the children also admitted to knowing about the conditions and admitted to disciplining the kids when they stole food.

They are scheduled to go on trial in August 2022. Coconino County Superior Court Judge Ted Reed set the date during a hearing in the case Friday.

A new prosecutor also is taking on the case after the former one was appointed to a judgeship.