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Mother accused of contributing to death of child, 2, to appear in court Friday

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) — The Fort Wayne mother who is accused of contributing to the death of her two-year-old will appear in court tomorrow for a pretrial conference. 

Fort Wayne’s NBC previously reported that 26-year-old Amber Garrett is the mother of Malakai Garrett, who was beaten to death on Nov. 29, 2017. 

Investigators say her boyfriend, 27-year-old Mitch Vanryn, is the one responsible for the child’s death. Vanryn is facing a murder charge along with aggravated battery and domestic battery charges.  

On Monday, June 11, a judge denied Garrett’s request to move her trial out of Allen County. 

She is facing two counts of felony neglect charges and is out on bond awaiting her trial on Sept. 11. She will appear in court on Friday, June 29, for a pretrial conference. 

Court documents revealed that there was a history of abuse with the boyfriend Vanryn, shown in text messages he sent to Garrett.  

Vanryn wrote Malakai "got the belt pretty good," and other conversations also document Malakai’s injuries including bruising on his buttocks, burns, abrasions, a busted lip, and stitches.  

The probable cause affidavit references harsh penalties directed toward the toddler when he had a potty-related accident, and includes a message from Amber Garrett to a friend, in which she claimed that Vanryn had pulled her hair, kicked her, punched her, hit her in the stomach with a pool stick and threatened to "beat her ass." 

Malakai’s father, Lantz Garrett, said he tried to intervene in the abuse and called Child Protective Services. Weeks before Malakai died, Lantz filed a petition asking for full custody. He also started a GoFundMe page, JusticeForMalakai.  

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