Merrillville woman pleads guilty in abuse death of brother, 10

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A northwest Indiana woman has pleaded guilty to neglect in the death of her 10-year-old brother, who prosecutors said endured months of abuse from her and her spouse before he died in 2020.

April L. Wright, 28, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of neglect of a dependent resulting in death. She admitted in her plea agreement that she and her wife, Rachel R. Wright, 28, dislocated two of Leviticus Kuchta’s cervical vertebrae and his mandible, resulting in his death.

Prosecutors wrote in court filings that Leviticus “was repeatedly isolated and tortured” by his sister and her wife — the two people entrusted with his care, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported.

Officers found the boy dead in the couple’s Merrillville home in October 2020 after Rachel Wright called 911. The women initially told police Leviticus was injured while riding a dirt bike, but officers discovered dust and spider webs on the bike, court records state.

Prosecutors said the couple never sought medical care for Leviticus, whose numerous other injuries included facial cuts, puncture wounds, infected toes and bruised eyes.

If a Lake County judge accepts April Wright’s plea agreement at a Jan. 19. hearing, she could face 20 to 35 years in prison.

Rachel Wright pleaded guilty in October to one felony count of neglect and agreed to testify against April Wright. She will not be sentenced until her wife’s case is resolved, court documents state.

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