Toddler allegedly beaten to death with furniture

Canton, Ohio: Officers with the Canton Police Department responded to a call of a nude woman walking down the street on Monday, May 17 shortly before 5:00 pm and found 24-year-old Mary Therese Guarendi.


According to the Canton Repository she informed officers that someone had killed her child in a nearby home.


Officers went to the residence and gained entry through an unlocked window.


Officers soon found the 18-month-old boy under several pieces of "household furniture" with head and body trauma. The child was transported to the Cleveland Clinic Mercy Hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later.


Guarendi has been charged with murder and is being held in the Stark County Jail in lieu of $2 million bail. Attorney Anthony Koukoutas has been appointed to represent her, and she is due back in court on May 21 at 10:00 am for a status hearing.


Also arrested is the child's father, 29-year-old Kevin Lasell Walker. He has been charged with murder and obstructing justice as he reportedly told officers that the boy was sleeping and Mary was missing when they began investigating Guarendi's statements. It is unclear if he was inside the residence when officers gained entry.


Walker is being held in the Stark County Jail in lieu of $1 million bond for the murder charge and is also due back in court on May 21 at 10:00 am for a status hearing. His public defender is listed as attorney Randall Bray.


His arraignment on the murder charge was scheduled for today and a note under the obstruction charge currently indicates that notice of his order to be released is being sent to the Stark County Jail.


Walker has previously been charged with Disorderly conduct related to a domestic dispute on January 26, 2021 to which he entered a plea of no contest. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail, suspended for two years, and ordered to attend an anger management program. According to the court records, he completed the program on April 16, 2021.


The Canton Repository further reported that in 2014 Guarendi was declared to be "incompetent" in a Stark County Probate case due to unspecified "mental disabilities." Her adoptive father, Dr. Ray Guarendi sought guardianship stating that she was "incapable of taking proper care of herself."


The following year however, he relinquished that guardianship stating that he was "progressively unable to influence Mary to act in her best wishes" and that she had become "increasingly hostile to our efforts."