A second of three women charged in the beating death of 5-year-old Alexander Stephens in Middletown had pleaded guilty to murder.
Rachel Bostian, 29, of Licking County, entered a guilty plea Friday in Butler County Common Pleas Court to two counts of endangering children in addition to murder. She faces a maximum of 26 years to life in prison. Sentencing is set for Sept. 12 by Judge Greg Stephens.
Last month, Ramona Bostian pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice. She faces up to 36 months in prison. Ramona Bostian, 56, also of Licking County and Rachel’s mother, is scheduled to be sentenced later this month..
Theresa Hawkins-Stephens, 26, the boy’s mother, is charged with murder, five counts of felony endangering children and two counts of kidnapping for the April incident that occurred while the trio was camping in Middletown with Alexander and his brother.
Hawkins-Stephens is scheduled to back in court this week for a motion to suppress statements she made to Middletown police. Defense attorney Christopher Fredrick claims the woman was not properly advised of her Miranda Rights before making statements to detectives.
A week-long trial for Hawkins-Stephens, is scheduled to begin in September. Hawkins-Stephens and Rachel Bostian are being held on $1 million bond.
Rachel Bostian and Hawkins-Stephens are accused of tying up Alexander for about 22 hours on April 26 and, according to police, “severely” beating the boy on his head and body.
Police said Alexander’s brother, 6-year-old Damyan, was also injured in the attacks, but his injuries were not life-threatening and he is recovering.
The Stephens boys were sleeping in a tent near the Great Miami River with their mother and her two friends, who told police they came to the area looking for work.
According to court documents, the two boys were tied up with blankets for “stealing food.”
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