Teen baby sitter accused of killing 5-year-old boy

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by Tanya Mendis

Bio | Email | Follow: @tanyamendis

azfamily.com

Posted on May 22, 2014 at 6:49 PM

Updated Monday, May 26 at 12:24 PM

PHOENIX -- A 16-year-old boy from north Phoenix is behind bars and being charged as an adult, after the 5-year-old he was caring for was rushed to the hospital with severe brain injuries and died.

Police say the mother of 5-year-old Ian Blair left him, his 3-year-old sister and 4-month-old sister in the care Justin Hoskins, the son of her live-in boyfriend.

According to police, Ian and his sister got into a food fight on the afternoon of May 18. Hoskins allegedly became angry with Ian and told him to go to the corner for punishment.

When Ian refused, Hoskins is accused of shoving the boy in the chest so hard, his head buckled back, he lost his balance, and he fell to the ground, hitting his head.

Court records show Hoskins picked the boy up, realized he was unresponsive, and put him in the bed. Hoskins noticed the boy threw up on himself, but never called police or his parents to notify them about what happened because he was scared, according to investigators.

Hoskins' father came home, saw the children napping, and sat on the couch to watch television before taking a nap himself.

Ian's mother came home a short while later and also checked on the children. Police say she did not notice anything wrong so she also took a nap.

According to police, it wasn't until at least five hours after the incident when Ian's mother went to wake him up for dinner that she noticed something was wrong. Court documents state she found him covered in vomit and urine. Efforts to wake the boy were unsuccessful.

The family rushed him to a local hospital, and he was airlifted to Phoenix Children's Hospital.

According to court documents, Ian was suffering from "extreme hematoma to the right side of the brain, bilateral retinal hemorrhages, swelling in the eyes and face," and bruising on his body. He was later pronounced dead.

According to family members, Hoskins was asked to baby-sit the three children often while his father and the children's mother were working full time.

Authorities say Hoskins told three different versions of what happened. First, he claimed he had no idea how Ian was injured; second, he blamed the family dog for knocking the boy down; and finally, he admitted to shoving Ian.

Hoskins faces charges of child abuse, but police say it is possible additional charges will be filed now that the little boy is dead. A superior court judge set Hoskins' bond at $500,000.

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