Five-year-old Ian Blair of North Phoenix, Arizona, refused to stand in the corner when directed to by his babysitter. That refusal led his 16-year-old babysitter, Justin Hoskins, to allegedly beat Blair to death on Sunday. Hoskins had been left in charge of not only Blair, but also Blair’s 3-year-old sister and his 4-month-old infant sibling. Hoskins, the son of the live-in boyfriend to the mother of the three children, was babysitting them on Sunday when he became angry at the little boy’s refusal to do what he was told and lost his temper, angrily striking out at Blair.
Hoskins initially became angry when Blair and his sisters were eating and little Ian began a food fight with his 3-year-old sister. Hoskins ordered him to stand in the corner for a punishment time-out and the boy refused, which enraged Hoskins so much that he shoved the b0y hard in the chest, making his head snap back, and causing the boy to fall over, striking his head on the floor. When Hoskins saw that the boy was still and was not responding, he put the boy to bed. He later admitted to Arizona police that even though he later witnessed the boy throwing up, he was too frightened to call for help.
Upon returning home from work at approximately 2:30 p.m., Hoskins’ father thought that all three children were taking naps, and he laid down on the couch to do the same. When the mother of the children came home, she checked on the children and seeing them sleeping, followed suit. Later, when it was time to wake the children for dinner, about five hours after the incident had occurred, the mother went to wake the 5-year-old boy and discovered that he not only would not wake up, but he was soaked in his own urine and vomit.
The boy was rushed to an Arizona hospital by his family before being airlifted to Phoenix Children’s Hospital, where doctors discovered that he had suffered hemorrhages and swelling in both eyes, facial swelling, miscellaneous bruising to his body and an “extreme hematoma” on the right side of his brain. The boy survived long enough for his family to say their last goodbyes before succumbing to his injuries on Wednesday.
Police questioning Hoskins about the events of the day were told three different explanations by the teen, one in which he claimed to have no knowledge of how the injuries to Blair had occurred, another which blamed the injuries on the family dog knocking Blair over, and the final version in which he admitted to shoving the boy. KTVK reports that family members stated to them that Hoskins frequently watched the children while the parents were working.
Arizona police initially charged Hoskins with child abuse and not seeking medical care for a minor who had been injured, but those charges will most likely be upgraded in light of the boy’s death. Although underage, Hoskins is identified because authorities have charged him as an adult. He remains in jail under a bond of $500,000.
By Jennifer Pfalz