A meth-using pregnant Washington mother is now charged with murder after her 3-year-old son was found “very stiff” and with “no pulse” on Super Bowl Sunday, authorities say.
Ivey Lewis, a 25-year-old living in Tacoma also known as Divine Ry Chev, faces charges of first-degree and second-degree murder of her son, who had reportedly been in foster care until six months ago. Cops said that they received a call Sunday night that the boy was “cold to the touch.”
“On February 12, 2023, at 7:35 p.m., officers responded to a third hand report of an unresponsive child cold to the touch in an apartment in the 3200 block of South Mason Avenue. Upon arrival, officers were let into the apartment and led to the three-year-old male,” Tacoma Police Department said in a statement. “Life-saving measures were immediately started but the child was declared deceased on scene.”
Court documents obtained by Law&Crime, including the probable cause affidavit and a three-count information in the case, revealed more about circumstances preceding Lewis’ arrest in the death of P.L., her son.
Authorities said the mother called a friend over for help and that the friend found the victim unresponsive in a bedroom at the apartment complex on 3202 South Mason Avenue.
The affidavit signed by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Lisa Wagner said that the responding cops found the 3-year-old dead at the scene next to his surviving 1-year-old brother J.W. on a bed.
“When officers got in the bedroom, they could see a young child, identified as three-year-old P.L., lying flat on his back with his knees slightly bent. They saw that he had multiple bruises on his face that appeared to be fresh,” the affidavit said. “The victim’s face was discolored, bruised, and had obvious burn marks on the entirety of his face. Officers also observed cuts on the victim’s face.”
Investigators said the boy was “very stiff” and had “no pulse.” He was declared dead at the scene after it became “obvious that rigor mortis had set in.”
Officers noted the room was stiflingly hot because a heater was on full blast. An officer apparently found it difficult to breathe in the apartment.
The mother allegedly told investigators that her son regularly ran into a wall and hit his head.
“Detectives examined the victim’s body more closely and noted that the victim had obvious trauma to the front of his head, to include swelling above the eyebrows, possible bruising towards the crown of his head, and suspected blood around his mouth and nose area,” authorities said. “There was also a large area on the left side of the face which appeared to be a burn.”
Investigators believe the numerous injuries to the toddler’s chest, sides, arms, and legs were “consistent with being struck with an object.” Responding detectives also said it appeared that the victim had been tased.
“It was also noted there were several small marks on the victim’s chest, which appeared to coincide with an electronic shock device (taser) located on the kitchen table,” court documents said.
Inside a playroom of horrors, investigators claimed to find dried blood spatter on the walls.
Authorities said that Lewis agreed to speak with them after she was read her Miranda rights and that she admitted she was currently under the supervision of Child Protective Services.
She allegedly claimed that she only realized something was wrong with her son Sunday night.
“She picked him up and saw that his eyes were ‘fluttering,’ but he was unresponsive,” the documents said. “She then carried him to the bathroom, where there was water in the bathtub, turned on the water, and placed his feet in the water to wake him up. When the victim failed to respond to the water, she moved him to the bedroom and laid him on the bed.”
Thereafter, police were called and made the shocking discovery.
During an interview with police, Lewis allegedly admitted she previously hit the victim with a belt when she “caught him and a female child ‘cuddling’ together.”
The defendant also allegedly admitted using meth and expressed that she is currently pregnant.
A man identified as J.P. allegedly told detectives that he once saw Lewis hit the victim with an electrical cord and that she punished him for “urinating on a mattress that had been in the playroom.”
“After the urinating incident, the mattress was removed from the room, leaving the victim without a sleeping area,” the affidavit said.
Investigators determined the victim died from blunt force trauma to his head. Authorities suggested additional charges will be added later on. Those charges could include homicide by abuse, in the death of P.L., and a charge relating to the surviving 1-year-old child, J.W.
J.W., documents said, was examined at a hospital after his mother’s arrest and medical professionals found evidence of meth in his system.
The 1-year-old is now in protective custody, cops said.
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