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Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

Aunt Charged With Beating Nephew To Death With Belt
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
May 3, 2006

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS--A Chicago woman was charged Saturday with first-degree murder, two days after her 14-year-old nephew died of multiple injuries.

Prosecutors allege that Brenda Weeks, 45, beat Joshua Cole repeatedly to punish him for wetting his bed, the Chicago Tribune reported. They further allege that Weeks failed to take the boy for his regular cardiac checkups for the last two years.

Cole was paraplegic, used a wheelchair, and had a pacemaker for his heart.

Authorities said that the teen was beaten with a belt on Thursday when Weeks found a container of his urine he had hidden in his gym bag. After the beating, Cole crawled to the bathroom to empty the container into the toilet. There he is believed to have gone into shock or experienced seizures. About an hour later, someone in the house called 9-1-1.

He died about 9:15 p.m. at a local hospital.

Doctors said Cole had a number of fresh cuts on his body, along with older scars.

Weeks was arrested Friday. She was denied bail.

A spokesperson with the Department of Children and Family Services reportedly said the agency did not have any previous contact with the family.

The location of Cole's mother was not known.

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