The Disturbing Death of Malachi Magana

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10th November 2019  •  4 min read

Malachi Magana was the product of rape. Therefore, his mother, Belinda Magana, treated him much different than his siblings. In his short life, he was subjected to unimaginable abuse before being scaled with boiling liquid and bludgeoned over the head.

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“Happy Mother’s Day weekend 2 all you mom’s. Enjoy every moment with ur fam,”  read Belinda Magana’s MySpace page in 2009. Just the next evening, Belinda called Corona, California, police and asked them to come to her apartment that she shared with her boyfriend of five months, Michael Narine. Belinda said that her 2-year-old son, Malachi Magana, had disappeared while they were at a family barbecue at a park nearby.

An extensive search for the toddler ensued including volunteers on foot, bloodhounds and a police helicopter. The search turned up no clues. When Belinda and Michael were questioned, police started to doubt their story and found inconsistencies and discrepancies. Furthermore, when Belinda called police, she sounded unnaturally calm. As the search was underway, Neither Belinda or Michael exhibited signs of distress and didn’t even participate in the search.

In the early morning hours of the following day, the body of Malachi was found in rugged terrain just off Lytle Creek Road. Belinda had directed police there, telling them that Michael had killed him when she was out of the house. Malachi’s body was riddled with bruises and burn marks. It was evident that he had lived a traumatic and violent life.

Both Belinda and Michael were charged with one count each of murder, torture and assault on a child causing death. They were both scheduled to stand trial and due to the torture charge, which was a mitigating factor, they would both be facing a death sentence.

Prosecutors said that Malachi had essentially been abused to death. Shortly before his death, either Belinda or Michael poured boiling hot liquid over Malachi. It scalded a layer of skin off his head, neck and back. Neither adult decided to seek medical treatment for Malachi. Due to the burns, Malachi had cried out in pain but when he cried, he was brutally beaten with a belt.

Malachi’s autopsy showed that he had suffered extensive scalding as well as blunt force trauma to the head. Attorneys couldn’t decide on whether the primary cause of death was the blunt-force trauma or sepsis from the untreated scalding injury. When he died, however, he was wrapped in a plastic bag and stuffed into the car. His 4-year-old brother also climbed into the car and the family drove to a party in Apple Valley. On the way there, they stopped in wasteland off Lytle Creek in San Bernardino County and buried him in a shallow grave.

According to one of Belinda’s defence lawyers, Ryan Markson, Michael was domineering and controlling and forced Belinda to use physical discipline on her son. He argued that Melinda wasn’t home when Malachi was burned and that Michael wouldn’t allow her to seek medical treatment.

One of Michael’s defence lawyers, Michael Belter, refuted this claim and instead said that Belinda was an “extremely neglectful and abusive mother” who had been abusive long before Michael began dating her just five months before Malachi’s murder.1

Malachi Magana.

There were several relatives who corroborated these claims. Malachi was the product of rape and Belinda had always treated him differently. Furthermore, as Malachi was dying, Michael went to Long Beach overnight to DJ and Belinda still didn’t seek out medical help. “She wasn’t held hostage. She had a phone, she had a car, she leaves for the store,” said Prosecutor Daima Calhoun.2

Two separate juries found Belinda Magana and Michael Narine guilty of all charges.

In opening statements of the penalty phase, Riverside County Deputy District Attorney Daima Calhoun described how Belinda was acting violently in jail. She had already been in several jailhouse fights. In One, she grabbed an inmate from behind and slashed her face with a razor blade, kicked her and then tried to throw her off the second floor.

In another fight, she slashed an inmate on the arm from a neighbouring cell. This highlighted the fact that Belinda was capable of committing violence.3

Riverside County Deputy District Attorney Daima Calhoun also said that Michael had a history of domestic abuse against two of his former wives. He described how each relationship drastically changed from kind and loving to domineering and violent. His first wife, Renee Hellanne, described how their relationship had deteriorated and finally reached breaking point when Michael punched her in the face.

His second wife, Maricela Narine, said that Michael often berated her and punched her so hard in the chest that she had troubles breathing.4

On the 2nd of May, 2015, both Belinda Magana and Michael Narine were sentenced to death.

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  1. The Press-Enterprise, 3 December, 2014 – “Prosecutor Tells of Toddler’s Final Nightmarish Days”
  2. The Press-Enterprise, 10 January, 2015 – “Juries Begin Deliberations in Death of Corona Toddler”
  3. The Press-Enterprise, 16 January, 2015 – “Death Penalty Sought for Mother Convicted of Murder”
  4. The Press-Enterprise, 22 January, 2015 – “Second Penalty Phase Begins in Child’s Death”


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1 year ago

How sick. Why not just put the poor baby up for adoption? It is not his fault he is the product of rape. I hope they have it tough in prison!

Kathrina Walsh
Kathrina Walsh
1 year ago
Reply to  Norma

Exactly!! Why not place him in foster care or adopt him out?

Jack Farnsworth
Jack Farnsworth
1 year ago
Reply to  Norma

they must not be spared with prison..,they must be executed slowly and painfully

Jack Farnsworth
Jack Farnsworth
1 year ago

it is this community’s hope that those two filthy, no good, useless, scum bag, sub-human pieces of sh*t meet the worst death in the sickest, most painful and harrowing way possible. How anybody could do that to a defenseless innocent child is beyond comprehension and is deserving of the most brutal executions known to man. They are both clearly unfit to live among society and enjoy the freedoms and privileges of a civilized community and may they meet demise with fear, anguish and trepidation. Even the flames of eternal damnation aren’t enough for these two animals.

1 year ago

I would have adopted this adorable child in a heartbeat. My heart breaks for this lil guy, and what he went through. That poor sweet baby never asked to be brought into this world. His worthless egg donor “mother” could have placed him up for adoption. There are so many women who cannot have children who would have been overjoyed to have this sweet little boy as their son.

Jules Kitchener
Jules Kitchener
1 year ago

Poor baby, why do they have to unleash evil on a defenseless child. I am glad they got the death penalty.

2 months ago

I actually went to the same high school as Belinda and had some of the same classes as her.

1 month ago
Reply to  Samuel


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