Foster mother, boyfriend charged in toddler’s death 18 Apr 18

HASTINGS, Minn. (AP) – A foster mother and her boyfriend have been charged in Dakota County with manslaughter and murder in the death of a 3-year-old boy who was in the woman’s care.

Authorities say Zayden Lawson was fatally beaten last June. Thirty-one-year-old Zeporia Fortenberry is charged with second-degree manslaughter. A criminal complaint says Fortenberry knew her boyfriend, 27-year-old Charles Homich, had been punching Zayden at least six weeks before he died of multiple force injuries.

Homich is charged with first-degree manslaughter and second-degree murder. Fortenberry says Homich “would lose his cool” if he had to change Zayden’s diaper.

It was not immediately clear if either defendant had hired an attorney to speak on their behalf.