Viola Vanclief, 2 [Updated]
Viola Vanclief, a 2-year-old black girl, died from blunt force trauma Thursday, March 4, in the 100 block of East Gage Avenue in Florence, according to authorities.
At the time of her death Viola was in foster care. According to the coroner's report, her foster mother told authorities that Viola got trapped in a bed frame. In an attempt to free her, the foster mother said she accidentally struck the toddler with a hammer. No medical attention was immediately sought, according to the coroner's report.
Viola was later taken to California Hospital Medical Center in Downtown where she was pronounced dead at 4:26 p.m. The child had several large bruised areas on her body.
The child's foster mother, Kiana Barker, a 30-year-old black woman, and her boyfriend, James Julian, a 38-year-old black man were arrested March 9 in connection with Viola's death and were released two days later, with no charges filed. Police are continuing to investigate the couple.
-- Sarah Ardalani
[Update, Oct. 22, 2013: Kiana Barker, now 33, was convicted of second-degree murder Oct. 18 in the beating death of Vanclief.
"Justice was served," said Deputy Dist. Atty. Pak Kouch after the proceedings in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Barker faces 25 years to life in prison.]