Mother and her boyfriend arrested in death of 7-year-old boy in Newark

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Darla Miles reports from Newark.

A Newark mother and her boyfriend have been arrested in the death of her 7-year-old son.

7-year-old Michael Moore seemed to be a happy child, but it appears his life was one of torture and abuse.

"He was in the hallway grabbing his hair like, he was going down the corner like, 'Oh my God, what if it's my fault,'" said Jamilah Lewis, an eyewitness.

Witnesses say those were the words of Christopher Spearman Sunday morning as Michael Moore Jr. was lying with a low pulse on a bed in his third floor apartment on North Munn Avenue in Newark Sunday.

His 28-year-old mother, Khadejrah Rawls was right there too.

"She was shocked, she told my girlfriend, 'What am I supposed to do?' She was just standing there," Lewis said.

The mother of five is now charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

Her 29-year-old boyfriend faces the same and also a charge of aggravated assault in the 7-year-old's death.

"Can you speak to why the prosecutor's office charged these two individuals before the autopsy is complete?" Eyewitness News asked.

"Well based on what we have at the scene, we felt that there was probable cause," said Tom Fennelly, Assistant Chief Prosecutor.

"I'm not blaming her, I'm blaming society. Division of Youth and Family Services, the school board, everybody that had red flags, this child did not have to die," said Sabrina Moore, a neighbor.

Neighbors prayed for Little Mike's young soul Monday night and for his siblings.

The Essex County Prosecutors Office says it has removed four other children from the home, a 6-year-old, 4-year-old, 2-year-old and 2-month-old.

Neighbors took care of the siblings while their oldest brother was rushed to the hospital.

"They didn't know what was going on," Lewis said.

Neighbors say Little Mike was his father's only son.

"Michael's father was in his life, he was coming every weekend to come pick him up," Lewis said.

Autopsy results pending and more charges are expected.

The suspect's arraignments are still pending and no bail has been set just yet.

Authorities are still waiting for the autopsy to be completed on the 7 year old, but Michael was apparently beaten to death.

The Essex County Prosecutor's Office and the Newark Police Department are investigating.

Related Topics:
child deathsuspicious deathNewark
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