A 28-year-old lesbian in northwest Indiana pled guilty on Nov. 15 to felony neglect resulting in a 10-year-old boy’s gruesome death. Prosecutors indicated that the abuse of the child, which 28-year-old April Wright admitted to participating in with her “wife” over a prolonged period of time, was tantamount to torture.
What are the details?
April Wright admitted in her plea agreement that she and her “wife” Rachel Wright, 28, dislocated two of Leviticus Kuchta’s cervical vertebrae and his jaw, resulting in his death.
Cervical vertebrae are the spinal bones stacked on top of each other in the neck to protect the spinal cord immediately below the skull.
Prosecutors noted in court filings that the child had been “repeatedly isolated and tortured” by the lesbian couple who, per a report from the (Northwest Indiana) Times, had been entrusted with his care.
The Times reported that a forensic pathologist for the Lake County coroner’s office concluded that the child had died from a dislocation of his cervical vertebrae caused by blunt force trauma.
Kutcha’s body was found on Oct. 12, 2020, at a home in the 7100 block of Fillmore Street in Merrillville, Indiana. Another child, three years old, found at the scene was reportedly rescued by Child Protective Services from “deplorable living conditions.”
According to court records, Rachel and April Wright initially told police that Kuchta had succumbed to injuries sustained while riding a dirt bike. That narrative was quickly quashed after officers found dust, shrubs, and spiderwebs on the bike, suggesting it hadn’t recently been used, reported the Associated Press.
Neighbors confirmed the child had not been seen outside for months.
The Chicago Tribune indicated that the boy’s grandmother had been attempting to gain custody of the child, who had pleaded for her to take him “home” during one phone call. The lesbian couple allegedly dissuaded her, saying that Kuchta had COVID-19.
Unimaginable pain and horror
Prosecutors indicated that notwithstanding the severe wounds the lesbian couple had inflicted on Kuchta, they never once sought medical care for the child. Instead, they covered his wounds with makeup.
Extra to the blunt force trauma that ultimately killed him, Kuchta reportedly had suffered puncture wounds and lacerations to his “scalp, forehead, cheeks, nose, lips, ears, neck, shoulder, upper back, lower back, both arms, both hands, genitals, right hip, both lower legs, both feet and toes.” The boy’s jaw was dislocated on both sides of his face, rendering him unable to speak.
Dr. Zhou Wang of the coroner’s office indicated that the boy likely would have been unable to use his hands or left foot, owing to multiple infections, skin ulcers and necrosis, reported Law & Crime.
The coroner also indicated, on the basis of traumas observed at various stages of healing, that the lesbian couple’s terror had likely been as long as it had been severe.
Lake County Supervisory Deputy Prosecutor Michelle Jatkiewicz wrote in court documents that Kutcha “was the punching bag for his sister and her wife. … They had complete access to Leviticus, who had not access to help. The only way he would leave that house was in a body bag. And that is what ultimately happened.”
Death penalty state
April Wright’s plea agreement states she had not only witnessed Rachel Wright brutalize the boy but joined the 28-year-old in inflicting horrible injuries upon the child. Neither woman, per the agreement, bothered to intervene despite knowing the injuries could be fatal.
April Wright’s sentencing hearing is on Jan.19. If Judge Gina L. Jones accepts the plea deal, April could face 20 to 35 years in prison.
Extra to the neglect charge, both April and Rachel Wright have been charged with murder, aggravated battery, and battery of a person under the age of 14.
When charged for Kutcha’s murder, April had already been on probation for battering a former girlfriend in a motel room in 2019.
Indiana is a death-penalty state.
As part of her own plea deal, wherein she admitted guilt to one count of felony neglect in connection to Kuchta’s untimely death, Rachel Wright agreed to testify against the boy’s older sister. On account of her agreement to testify against her “wife,” Rachel Wright’s trial will not begin until April’s has been resolved.