3 Instances of Filicide


Credit to Time Newspaper

Side by Side photographs of Andrea Yates (Left) and Yates with posing for a family photograph (Right).

Renee Chaples, Chief and Editor

Filicide, a word not commonly known but is widely infamous thanks to the media. What is it? Filicide is the deliberate act of a parent killing their own child. The word is derived from the Latin word son “filia” and -side meaning to kill, or cause death. Although a horrid and tragic event for any family to go through, the media just never seems to turn away from instances in which the parents are responsible for their child’s murder.

Case #1: The 2018 Barron Murder Case


In June of 2018, 28-year-old mother Heather Barron was charged with the torture and murder of her 10-year-old son Anthony Avalos.  Barron called 911 stating that her son gotten an injury from a fall. He was brought to the hospital unresponsive and died just the day after. Officials stated that upon his arrival, Avalos showed signs of severe beatings and malnourishment. In addition to this, Barron was reported to have been physically, sexually, and verbally abusive towards her son in the years leading up to his death with which she received up to 12 complaints to Department of Children and Families (DCF). It was also noted that just months before the incident Avalos came out as gay which allegedly push his mother to despise and abuse him more. After this incident, the DCF had removed eight other children ranging in ages 11 months to 12 years old for further investigation. With her current charges, Barron is looking at up to 22 years in prison.


Case #2: Child Support Payments Leads to Murder


Early February of 2016, 2-year-old Chloe Davis-Green and her mother NeShante Davis were found shot and killed just outside their Washington home. At the beginning of the criminal investigation there was no physical evidence linking the father, Daron Boswell-Johnson, to the crime, however, he would later confess in a video. The motive for the murder was because Johnson no longer wanted to be responsible for paying child support to this child he only recently found out to be his. Footing a $600 bill per month, Johnson was fed up and waited late at night for his daughter and her mother to return home with a gun in hand. When Davis refused to discuss the child support agreements, Johnson took out his gun and shot both of them. However, Johnson’s lawyer believes that he was coerced into confessing to the murder. Which Johnson would also admit later on about lying in his confession video. As of right now, Johnson is facing life in prison however, he wishes to have a retrial.


Case #3: 2001 Yates Case


Andrea Yates was 37 years old when she drowned her five children one by one in her home’s bathtub. According to police, Yates had said that she was hearing voices and by drowning her children she was saving their souls. Yates has a bad history with mental health, being diagnosed with psychosis and severe postpartum depression, she was hospitalized numerous times for her many mental breakdowns and suicide attempts. Originally Yates was found guilty in her first trial back in 2002, although she pleaded insanity she was not considered insane by the state of Texas since she could determine right from wrong. However, in 2005 she would return to the courthouse repealing her old charges from guilty to insane. Yates is now residing in a low-security mental hospital.