Couple Arrested for Alleged Beating, Leading to 5-Year-Old’s Death

In a shocking incident, a couple from Pennsylvania, who were the adoptive parents of a 5-year-old boy, have been apprehended on charges of physical and emotional abuse that led to the child’s death. The accused, Lauren E. Maloberti and Jacob N. Maloberti, were taken into custody last Thursday, facing multiple felony charges in connection with the death of their son, Landon Maloberti, earlier this year.

Jacob Maloberti, a corrections officer at Fayette State Correctional Center, is facing charges of criminal homicide, endangering the welfare of children, criminal conspiracy, and two counts of aggravated assault of a child. His wife, Lauren Maloberti, is facing similar charges, with an additional count of first-degree murder. In Pennsylvania, the term criminal homicide includes all forms of murder, voluntary manslaughter, and involuntary manslaughter, while first-degree murder implies that the accused knowingly and willingly killed another person.

Delmont Police Chief T.J. Klobucar expressed his shock at the case, stating that in his 25-year tenure, he had never encountered such a disturbing incident. The investigation into the Malobertis began on January 30, 2023, when they brought an unconscious Landon to AHN Hempfield Neighborhood Hospital. Due to the severity of his condition, Landon was transferred to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Children’s Hospital for specialized care. However, he succumbed to his injuries and was declared dead on February 7.

The Allegheny County Medical examiner ruled Landon’s death as a homicide. According to the criminal complaint, Landon’s parents waited a full day after he sustained his fatal injuries before seeking medical help. Hospital staff reported that the couple showed “no urgency” upon arrival and claimed that Landon was merely “wobbly from COVID a month prior.” Contrary to their claims, doctors at UPMC found that Landon had suffered three separate brain bleeds, with his brain described as “obliterated.”

Westmoreland District Attorney Nicole W. Ziccarelli revealed further details about Landon’s condition, stating that he had endured a “very tough” life before his death. She quoted a UPMC physician who noted that Landon had suffered multiple episodes of physical abuse and at least two types of emotional maltreatment. His injuries caused substantial pain, impaired his ability to stand, eat, drink, and led to loss of consciousness.

Ziccarelli also shared details from the pathologist’s report, which revealed that Landon had suffered blunt force trauma to his head, neck, torso, and extremities. He also had multiple bruises in different stages of healing. Prosecutors alleged that Lauren Maloberti’s former colleagues told police she “hated” Landon and found him “hard to love.”

In closing, DA Ziccarelli stated, “Tragically, Landon suffered abuse and trauma over the span of his short life. We intend to prosecute this case with the dignity and honor Landon deserves.” The Malobertis are currently held in Westmoreland County Prison without bond and are scheduled for a court appearance on August 8.