April Wright: Woman admits to bloody murder of her 10-year-old brother whom she tortured to death
If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.
LAKE COUNTY, INDIANA: A woman recently admitted to her role in the heart-wrenching death of her younger brother after he was brutally tortured and killed. April Lynn Kuchta Wright, 28, formally pleaded guilty on Tuesday, November 15, to one count felony neglect of a dependent in the death of 10-year-old Leviticus “Levi” Kuchta, court records revealed. Levi had his skull dislocated from his spine by his sister at the time of death.
April's wife Rachel R Wright had earlier pleaded guilty in October to one count felony neglect in connection with the youngster's death. She reportedly struck a deal with prosecutors in which she agreed to testify against her wife at the latter's criminal trial.
WARNING: GRAPHIC DETAILS
April's plea agreement, reviewed by Law&Crime, reportedly states that she witnessed Rachel inflict injuries on her brother and also took part in inflicting those injuries. The agreement also states that both women failed to stop the other from harming Levi despite knowing full well that the boy's injuries could be fatal. April could face a sentence of 20 to 35 years under the terms of the plea deal. Both women had previously been charged with murder, aggravated battery and battery of a person under the age of 14, according to a report from The Times of Northwest Indiana.
Prosecutors have argued that Levi was forced to endure unimaginable pain in the days and weeks leading up to his death due to prolonged physical abuse and festering wounds that resulted in chronic infections. A doctor from the county coroner’s office testified at an evidentiary hearing in October that the child sustained “puncture wounds and lacerations” to his neck, scalp, face, arms, shoulders, back, hip, legs, and feet. These injuries were caused by blunt force trauma and presented in multiple stages of healing.
The doctor also deemed the child's demise a homicide caused by the base of his skull being dislocated from his spine as well as the dislocation of two vertebrae in his neck. Furthermore, the boy's jaw was also dislocated on both sides of his face, leaving him unable to speak. Levi also would have had great difficulty using his left hand due to multiple infections on his fingers for extended periods, which caused skin ulcers and necrosis or cell death. Meanwhile, his left foot was in a similar condition, meaning he would have been in excruciating pain throughout and may not have been able to walk at all. The child also showed bruising to his testicles likely caused by blunt force trauma, according to Dr Zhou Wang of the Lake County Coroner’s Office.
The boy's grandparents reportedly took custody of him after his mother was jailed in the Indiana Women’s Prison following a drug offense conviction. After his grandfather died in August 2020, Levi's sister reportedly offered to take him in. Tragically, a few months later, on October 12, police received a call from the Wrights’ home located in the 7100 block of Fillmore Court in Merrillville about an unresponsive child. April and Rachel told responding officers that Levi fell off his dirt bike a few days earlier and hurt himself in a crash. They claimed he took the bike out again on October 11 and crashed again. The couple told police that Levi was afraid a doctor would have him move back in with his grandmother so they didn't seek medical treatment for his wounds.
However, investigators found that a dirt bike on the property appeared unused for a long time and did not start. Meanwhile, neighbors said they hadn't seen the child outside since July. What's more, investigators found Levi had makeup on that appeared to have been applied in a bid to cover up the bruising and other injuries to his face.
Levi's grandmother reportedly tried to get him back about a month before his death, but the Wrights told her he had Covid-19 and couldn't be moved at the time. April's sentencing hearing is scheduled on January 19. On the other hand, Rachel's sentencing will not take place until April's case concludes because she agreed to testify against her wife.