Michigan Couple Accused of Murdering Woman's Toddler Son and Abusing His Twin Brother

Harriet Sokmensuer
·2 min read

A Michigan woman is accused of abusing her toddler twin sons — killing one— with the help of her boyfriend.

On Friday, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced Lisa Marie Reed had been charged with second degree murder in the death of her 13-month-old son Zyaire Reed. Her boyfriend, James E. Gibson Jr., has been charged with first degree murder, the Detroit News, Detroit Free Press and News-Herald report.

The couple, both 34, are also charged with first-degree child abuse.

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On July 28, police were called to an apartment in Ecorse on a report of an unresponsive child. Upon arrival, officers and EMTs found Reed's son Zyaire unresponsive. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities then found the deceased boy's twin brother, Zion, also suffering from severe injuries and rushed him to Detroit Children's Hospital of Michigan.

"This is the worst I've ever seen," Ecorse Police Inspector Timothy Sassak told FOX 2 Detroit of the crime scene. WDIV reported Gibson has a criminal history, including a conviction on a child abuse charge.

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According to authorities, Gibson is not the boys' father and had been living with them and their mother.

“The evidence in this case will show that Zyaire Reed suffered abuse for almost half of his very young life,” Worthy said in the news release. “He was 13 months old when he died. The alleged facts of this case left seasoned prosecutors shaking their heads and vowing to seek justice for him.”

Zion Reed survived and is continuing to receive treatment for his injuries, according to Worthy.

"We're doing horrible, just horrible," one relative told the News-Herald in July. "This is a total shock...They just had a wonderful birthday party for them."

The couple are scheduled to be arraigned Monday. It is unclear whether they have attorneys to comment on their behalf.