Parents tortured and murdered 5-year-old

Two young boys were allegedly beaten and tortured by their 27-year-old parents, killing one and severely injuring the other.

Prosecutors have charged Shane Robert Shelton and Valeria Lynn Hamilton with one count each of felony murder, torture, and conspiracy to commit torture in the death of 5-year-old Ethan Belcher.

Prosecutors said Hamilton is the boy’s biological mother, while Shelton is his stepfather.

Additionally, the couple was charged with two counts of first-degree child abuse each, with the second charge stemming from non-fatal abuse allegedly inflicted on Ethan’s 3-year-old brother.

The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office reported that Detroit Police Department officers responded to a 911 call regarding an unknown problem at a residence in the 14000 block of Spring Garden Street.

Upon arriving at the scene, police say they saw paramedics transporting Ethan into an ambulance. Sadly, he passed away in a hospital.

Investigators say they have evidence that Shelton and Hamilton killed Ethan and also physically abused their 3-year-old son.

“The alleged facts in this case are extremely alarming,” Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said on Wednesday. “The evidence will come out in court.”

During an arraignment on Wednesday, The Detroit News reported on details of the case.

Matthew Makepeace, the assistant prosecutor for Wayne County, said Ethan had loop-shaped abrasions on his body, showing he had been beaten with cord-like objects.

The prosecutor also said that one of the child’s toes had gangrene and that other children living in the house told investigators Shelton and Hamilton regularly beat Ethan and his brother. The two would also be locked in a basement that smelled of feces and sewage.

Makepeace showed the court text messages between Shelton and Hamilton, in which Shelton wrote, “Beat the dog (expletive) out of that,” referring to one of the boys.

It is alleged that Hamilton once wrote that she intended to “slam their kids so hard their heads will pop off,” reported the newspaper.

Last year, Ethan’s aunt reported the abuse to Child Protective Services, but the boys remained with the parents. In addition, she claimed that Ethan had been burned by cigarettes.

“He had over 100 cigarette burns on his body,” she told the news station.