In this photo made available June 30, 2015 by the Hagerstown Police Department, in Hagerstown, Md., shows Robert Leroy Wilson. Police say Wilson handcuffed and beat his girlfriend’s 9-year-old son for eating a piece of birthday cake without permission. The boy later died. Wilson was charged with first-degree assault and child abuse. Other charges are pending. (Hagerstown Police Department via AP)
FREDERICK, Md. (AP) — A man accused in the fatal beating of a 9-year-old boy over a piece of missing birthday cake was charged in 2010 with abusing another child, according to court records and the abused girl’s mother.
The charge of second-degree child abuse against Robert Leroy “Roy” Wilson, 30, was dropped in early 2011 when he pleaded guilty to second-degree assault in Frederick County Circuit Court. The assault conviction was expunged in 2012 as part of the plea deal, leaving Wilson with no criminal record.
The 2010 charge involved the now 10-year-old daughter of a woman with whom Wilson lived for five years, before their relationship ended last December. They also have a 2-year-old daughter together. The Associated Press isn’t naming the woman to protect the identities of her children.
In an exclusive interview with the AP on Thursday, the woman said Wilson hit the girl with an extension cord, leaving a mark on her side, after “he got upset about something insignificant.”
“It didn’t hurt her that bad but it was too severe for it not to be taken seriously,” she said. She said it was the only time Wilson used physical violence against anyone in their household.
She said Wilson completed parenting and anger-management classes as part of the plea agreement, and a social worker monitored their family.
“He had to go through all these steps and I believed he had changed,” she said.
They continued living together and moved from Frederick to Hagerstown, in neighboring Washington County, in 2012. The woman said she moved out due to a dispute that had nothing to do with the child abuse charge.
She said Wilson, a food warehouse worker, “likes to be in control of things” and is hard to please.
This Feb. 13, 2015 photo provided by Daniel Fletcher shows Jack Garcia in Goleta, Calif. Police arrested Oriana Garcia, 26, and Jacob Barajas, 23, on Monday, July 13, and charged them with second-degree murder in Jack Garcia’s death. He died July 5, from injuries police say were inflicted as punishment for eating a piece of birthday cake without permission. (Daniel Fletcher via AP).
About two months after they split up, Oriana Garcia moved into Wilson’s apartment from Goleta, California, after meeting him online. She brought along her son Jack and her brother, Jacob Barajas, to watch the boy while she and Wilson were at work.
Police say Wilson beat the boy unconscious on June 30 after accusing him of stealing a piece of birthday cake belonging to Wilson’s 2-year-old daughter. The boy died five days later.
Wilson was charged before Jack died; he may face additional charges after a grand jury hearing as early as next week. Barajas and Garcia are both charged with second-degree murder and first-degree child abuse for allegedly participating in a pattern of abuse that police say included handcuffing Jack for up to three hours a day in the week before the beating.
Their public defenders have declined to comment on the case.
The Frederick County State’s Attorney’s office and the Maryland Department of Human Services, which includes Frederick County’s social services agency, didn’t respond to repeated requests for comment on the earlier child abuse charge and Wilson’s plea deal.