Mother to Serve Maximum Possible Sentence for the Murder of Her Toddler

Modified: June 28, 2019 10:44am

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6/28/2019

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 23-year-old Keona Owens of Buffalo has been sentenced by State Supreme Court Justice Russell P. Buscaglia to an indeterminate sentence of 25 years to life in prison.

On July 17, 2018, the defendant, while acting in concert with her boyfriend Bashar Hall, fatally injured her son, 2 ½-year-old Xavion Hazzard, by beating him inside their home on Weaver Street in the City of Buffalo. A 911 phone call was placed when the child became unresponsive and he was taken to John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The Erie County Medical Examiner’s Office determined that the toddler died from multiple blunt force trauma to his head and torso.

In February 2019, Justice Buscaglia found Owens guilty, as charged, on one count of Murder in the Second Degree, a Class “A-I” felony, and on one count of Manslaughter in the First Degree, a Class “B” felony, following a bench trial.  

Hall, who was convicted of the same charges in a separate jury trial in May 2019, is scheduled to be sentenced on Monday, July 1, 2019 at 11 a.m. before Justice Buscaglia.

DA Flynn commends the Buffalo Police Department for their work in the investigation, including Det. Sgt. Carl Lundin, Detective Joy Jermain and retired Detective Brendan Kiefer.

The case was prosecuted by Colleen Curtin Gable, Chief of the DA’s Homicide Bureau, and Assistant District Attorney Bethany A. Solek of the DA’s Special Victims Bureau.