Mother, boyfriend charged with murder in death of 2-year-old child

Johnny Brazell II and Leilah Lopez, both 20, have been arrested in connection with the murder...
Johnny Brazell II and Leilah Lopez, both 20, have been arrested in connection with the murder of a 2-year-old child named Braxton.(Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
Published: May. 17, 2023 at 2:28 PM CDT
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GLENDALE, Ariz. (KPHO/Gray News) - Police in Arizona say a mother and her boyfriend have been arrested on first-degree murder charges in the death of a 2-year-old child.

Glendale police report they were called Tuesday morning to a residence regarding a boy that was not breathing.

According to KPHO, the caller, later identified as 20-year-old Johnny Brazell II, told first responders that his stepson was not breathing and had no pulse.

He also told authorities that the boy had been attacked by a dog earlier in the day and he had a gash and bump on his head.

Paramedics arrived and rendered CPR, but the boy died after arriving at the hospital.

Detectives said they found the boy covered with bruises on his body and he had a noticeable skull fracture that appeared to be the result of child abuse.

An arrest report detailed that detectives found blood stains in the boy’s bedroom which appeared much more serious than what Brazell had described.

Glendale police said Brazell and the boy’s mother, Leilah Lopez, provided inconsistent statements surrounding how the child was attacked by a dog.

In later remarks, Brazell admitted to killing the child and hitting him with a leather belt several times, police said. Brazell also admitted to dropping the boy on his head onto a hardwood floor.

According to police, Lopez and Brazell waited for the boy to stop breathing before calling 911 and agreed to lie to them, paramedics and the hospital about what happened.

Arresting documents detailed that when both were sent to the interview room by themselves, detectives overheard Brazell tell Lopez that he killed the child and that “the story we talked about didn’t work.”

Neither suspect showed remorse after their arrest, police noted. Both have since been booked on murder and child abuse charges.