Gut-wrenching photos reveal the horrific abuse a four-year-old girl suffered before she was beaten to death.
Leiliana Wright, four, was severely beaten and ‘strung up’ by an array of belts in a closet in her Grand Prairie, Texas home as punishment when she died on March 2016. She died suffering blunt force injuries to her head and stomach.
Her mother’s boyfriend Charles Wayne Phifer, 36, is accused of beating her to death and if convicted will receive a life sentence in jail, without the possibility of parole.
Her injuries so grisly, Grand Prairie police Sgt. Brad Makovy claimed ‘it was the worst thing I’ve ever seen inflicted on a child’ as he testified at Phifer’s capital murder trial on Thursday.
Four-year-old Leiliana Wright was beaten to death in her Texas home in March 2016. Her mother’s boyfriend Charles Wayne Phifer, 36, is accused of beating her to death with a bamboo switch and holding her up by belts in a closet
Photos of the child show the horrific abuse she’s suffered over the years including a black eye, a puffy eye, and bruises on her jaw
Pictures show the child with a black eye, a bruise on her cheek near her jaw, and in some shocking photos she can barely open one of her eyes, puffy from the abuse.
An investigator who snapped photos of Leiliana’s body said nurses and officers were crying outside of the child’s hospital room ‘because she was severely beaten’.
In his testimony, Sergeant Makovy recalled how he interviewed the child’s mother Jeri Quezada, 33, who was hesitant to talk and faces 50 years in jail for her part in young Leiliana’s death.
On Wednesday Quezada testified against her former boyfriend.
Phifer allegedly tied Leiliana up in the closet in a way so that she couldn’t sit down. He allegedly lifted her by the throat and threw her into the closet so forcefully it left an indentation. He allegedly did this because she refused to eat, according to NBCDFW.
Leiliana was reportedly sick and vomiting days prior to her death.
Her mother’s boyfriend Charles Wayne Phifer, 36, (left) has been accused of murder and is on trial. If convicted he could face life in prison without the possibility of parole. Her mother Jeri Quezada, 33, (right) faces 50 years in jail for her role in Leiliana’s death
Investigators testified in court on Thursday that they had never seen such horrific abuse inflicted on a child. Leiliana pictured above
Quezada said that Leiliana’s hands were tied behind her back with electrical wire and something was tied around her stomach when she was strung up in the dark closet where she died.
Pictures of the crime scene shown to the jury displayed a bamboo switch that Phifer allegedly beat Leiliana to death with.
Her jeans were also displayed to the jury tangled up in three belts.
Quezada told police she left the child in her boyfriend’s care because she was frustrated and needed ‘a break’. She was out at dinner with her mother while Phifer was home with Leiliana.
She came home, she used heroin with Phifer, then asked about the child. Phifer responded saying the child was hung in the closet.
He allegedly put her there after she fell in the shower.
Quezada – who has a history of child abuse – allegedly previously told police that she kicked and slapped her daughter as discipline. When questioned about it in court on Thursday she said she couldn’t remember telling police such details.
Leiliana was home with her mother’s boyfriend Phifer at the time of her death in March 2016. Her mother went to dinner, came home and took heroin, then asked about the child. Phifer said she was hung on the closet
The child’s grandmother reported the abuse to child services in Texas. A caseworker came and neglected to perform a background check on Quezada – a convicted felon with a history of child abuse – and allowed the mother to stay with Leiliana and her younger brother
Quezada, pictured with Leiliana, allegedly told police she would slap and kick Leiliana as discipline. When asked about that on Thursday, she said she couldn’t remember telling police those details
Leiliana’s grandmother raised alarm about the child abuse to Child Protective Services sending in a photo of Leiliana with a black eye.
In February 2016 a caseworker went to the home and found Leiliana and her younger brother with Quezada and let her remain with the children.
The caseworker neglected to do a background check which would have shown that Quezada is a convicted felon with a history of child abuse that saw her lose custody of her three older children.
Quezada’s mother Adeline Carr also testified in court on Thursday as she lived with her for a couple months before Leiliana’s death and described how skittish the child was.
‘At first, she was very frightened of every strange noise or loud noise,’ Carr said in court Thursday.
She described Leiliana as quiet and shy, who stared at things rather than speaking up and asking for them. Carr said Quezada would tell Leiliana it was okay to come out of her bedroom after waking each morning and would stay in her room unless instructed she could leave.
Quezada pleaded guilty to felony injury to a child in July 2017 and is testifying against Phifer as a part of a plea deal, according to Dallas News.
The trial will continue Friday morning and a medical examiner is expected to testify.