Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Denton couple arrested following death of 7-year-old boy

The Denton Police Department has arrested the mother of a 7-year-old boy and her boyfriend in the days following the child’s death.

About 7:30 p.m. Friday, police were called to a report of an unconscious person in the 1600 block of East McKinney Street in Denton. The caller said a child inside the home was having a medical emergency, according to a Denton police news release. Paramedics transported the child to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. His name was Phoenix Ho.

Medics on the scene notified officers that the boy had suspicious and extensive injuries. As they investigated, detectives obtained a search warrant for the residence and they ultimately arrested the boy’s mother’s boyfriend, 52-year-old Todd Lofton Shaw, for injury to a child. During a news conference on Wednesday, Denton PD Deputy Chief Frank Padgett said that Shaw’s alleged abuse likely lasted about a month, beginning as psychological abuse that led to physical abuse that culminated in the boy’s death.

As the investigation progressed, detectives interviewed the boy’s mother, Sabrina Ho, again, and she admitted she was aware of the ongoing physical abuse that Shaw was subjecting the child to. She also told police that she kept the boy out of school and intentionally did not seek medical care for the boy’s injuries in an effort to conceal the signs of abuse, according to Denton PD.

“When you see that type of abuse, you have to report it,” Padgett said. “It’s basic human decency.”

Police obtained an arrest warrant for Sabrina Ho for injury to a child. The investigation is ongoing and further charges are possible.

Denton PD had not had any previous history with the suspects.

“April is Child Abuse Awareness Month and it’s a complete tragedy that we lost a child on Day One,” Padgett said.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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