Raising children means a lot of commitment, dedication and sacrifice, but children are here to provide endless love and pleasure every minute of parents’ lives. And this is what a woman was not ready for. In a recent judge decision, a mother of 6-year-old boy was given the sentence she deserved for what she did to the little boy.
Archibeque, 29, has been sentenced to prison after confessing to first-degree murder and child abuse, related to the tragic death of her son, Deshaun M., in 2020. The young boy, whose body was found weighing just 18 lbs., was described by NY Post as a haunting case that has shocked the community.
During court proceedings last month, Arizona Detective M. Seay provided an agonizing account of the discovery of Deshaun’s body, calling it “so horrific” and recounting that the child looked like “just bones” when discovered in his family’s apartment.
“His face was completely sunken in. It was just like a skeleton,” Seay said.
Further investigations revealed that Deshaun and his 7-year-old brother had endured unimaginable suffering, being locked to a tiny 21-by-25-inch closet for 16 hours daily for a month. The appalling conditions were underscored by the “foul, awful smell of urine,” according to Seay’s testimony.
The detective also spoke about the 6-year-old’s surviving brother, who was found alive but in a dire state of malnourishment, his skeletal frame visible beneath his skin.
The prosecutor, during the sentencing hearing, decided not to display evidence photos, describing them as so “disturbing it is hard on anyone who has to see them.”
Archibeque took the stand herself, expressing remorse and acceptance of her fate.
“A huge part of me died along with my beautiful child,” she said. “Not a day goes by that I do not grieve … I am so sorry.”
Deshaun’s father and paternal grandmother, who are also facing charges of murder and child abuse, are denying guilt and will be tried separately.
C. Brown, Archibeque’s public defender, hinted that the other two family members may shoulder more of the blame for the cruel treatment that led to Deshaun’s death.
This harrowing case came to light on March 2, 2020, when the child’s grandmother dialed 911, fearing that her grandson was deceased.
An autopsy determined that Deshaun died of severe starvation, and the manner of death was ruled a homicide.
Deshaun’s parents initially misled authorities, claiming his malnourishment resulted from a medical condition or the consumption of diet or caffeine pills. However, they later confessed that they had locked the 6-year-old and his brother in a closet and deprived them of food as punishment for stealing food at night, according to police statements.
While their two daughters, ages 4 and 2, were found healthy in the apartment, the situation highlighted a troubled family environment.
In a plea for leniency, the defense attorney, Brown, pointed to Archibeque’s own troubled past. She was addicted to methamphetamine, endured a traumatic upbringing, and grappled with mental health issues. Archibeque herself contended that she was terrorized by her husband and mother-in-law, feeling “powerless” to change their living conditions.
Testimony from the foster mother who took in Deshaun’s siblings revealed further heartrending details. She told the court that Deshaun’s older brother was “so traumatized about food and eating” that he would incessantly inquire about their next meal and clung to a “special little lunch box with snacks that would never leave his side.”
Late last month, the court handed down a life sentence without the possibility of parole to the mother. The ruling judge characterized her actions as “heinous, cruel and depraved.” Though Archibeque’s lawyer sought the possibility of parole after 35 years, Judge Reed declared that the “heinous, cruel and depraved behavior” justified imprisonment for “the rest of your natural life.”
This sentencing was finalized after Archibeque’s guilty plea in May to charges of first-degree murder and child abuse, relating to her son’s tragic death in 2020. The case has drawn both national attention and local concern, serving as a grim reminder of the hidden tragedies that can lurk behind closed doors.