Frances Lyles found guilty of beating her three-year-old son to death

A mom who fatally beat her three-year-old son was found guilty of murder.

This month, a jury found Frances Lyles guilty of felony murder and first-degree cruelty to children for killing her son, Xavier, in 2014.

She will be sentenced in January.

According to details released by the prosecution, Lyles beat her three-year-old son, Xavier, on June 18, for upsetting her newborn’s bouncer seat. A few days later, Lyles became upset again with Xavier when he was running around their apartment in Southeast Washington. She repeatedly beat him and caused multiple bruises and a lacerated liver. As a result of her force, Xavier’s kidney avulsed and he lost approximately one third of his blood from internal bleeding.

Lyles had initially led law enforcement to believe that her boyfriend had beaten the child when she left Xavier in his care. After weeks of following her leads, law enforcement found that it was Lyles responsible through her outgoing phone calls. In several phone calls, she had admitted to “whooping” her child several times. On Sept. 16, 2014, Lyles was arrested and has been held in custody ever since.

The felony murder charge that she is charged with carries and enhancement based on Xavier’s young age and the heinous nature of Lyles’ crime. Lyle faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without possibility of release.


Comment guidelines:

D.C. Witness is a place where we want our community to come to remember loved ones and comment on homicide cases. These discussions often entail topics that we all personally care a lot about and will passionately discuss. But in order for discussions to thrive here, we need to set a few ground rules. Comments will be edited or deleted if they include vulgarity, name-calling, cursing or inflammatory language. Comments that include unverified information, slander, or hateful speech will be deleted. We reserve the right to edit comments to ensure they reflect the intent of the writer but make them publishable. If you believe your comment has been edited or deleted in error, please contact Jennifer Swift,