2 Year Old Deaf and Disabled Maxwell Eyer, Beaten to Death by his Father for Eating Chips in Bed

Maxwell Eyer

Maxwell Eyer

Yet another story of a little boy being murdered as his mother stood by and watched.

Maxwell Eyer, 2, a deaf and disabled beautiful little boy, already faced a life of challenge, long before Johnny Garcia doled out his punishment to the boy for eating chips in bed. Max was murdered at the hands of his own father on December 27, 2007.  My three young sons and I enjoy a ‘movie night’ every weekend where we cuddle up in my bed and watch a movie.  Not only have they eaten chips in bed, but popcorn, licorice, juice – all those treats.  One morning I woke up with a gummy bear stuck to my cheek.  I am a big enough person to admit that when I realized it, I laughed.  However, there is nothing funny about what happened to little Maxwell for eating those chips.

Johnny Garcia

Johnny Garcia

Johnny Garcia, Maxwell’s father, slammed his head to the ground repeatedly, as his father’s girlfriend, Jeanine Lansdon, watched.  Max’s mother, Linsey Eyer, had dropped her son off with Garcia on December 26, 2007.  When she returned the next day to pick him up, she noticed he was acting a little off.  Allow me to describe what a little off was.

Pathologist, Dr. Raj Nanduri, testified that Maxwell Eyer had bruises all over his body from previous injuries, as well as a fracture to the chest that had healed over, but died from four blows to the head which caused internal bleeding to the brain.  She said Max would have shown obvious signs of distress in the hours before his death.  The little boy went into a seizure and stiffened after the beating, choking on his own vomit, unable to sit up.  Eyer described Max as being stiff and unresponsive, but breathing.  When she questioned Garcia about what may have happened, he claimed Max may have rolled off the bed.  Of course she took the next obvious actions, putting him in a tub of warm water to relieve the stiffness and attempted to put milk in his mouth with a syringe.  What?

Maxwell Eyer and his sister.

Maxwell Eyer and his sister.

When these tactics didn’t work, Eyer phoned a doctor’s office, not receiving an answer, she consulted Garcia and he said if Max was not better by the next day, to take him to the hospital.  No calls were ever made to 911 seeking help for this precious little boy as he laid on the floor, terrified and dying.

Garcia, Eyer and Lansdon then brought Maxwell to Eyer’s home.  At approximately 5:00 p.m., Eyer stated it appeared that Max was sleeping, so she and Lansdon went out to find Garcia some Vicodin , a narcotic pain reliever, at his request.  When the two women returned at 9:00 or 10:00 p.m. empty handed, Max still appeared to be sleeping.  Garcia became irate by their inability to find him the drugs and proceeded to yell and scream at the women.  Eyer and Lansdon then went out a second time in an effort to obtain Vicodin.  While they were out looking, Garcia phoned them and told them something was wrong with Max.  (You think?)  Eyer finally took Max to St. Anthony’s Hospital Emergency in Alton.  The little boy was pronounced dead 20 minutes later.

Both Lansdon and Eyer gave the police stories in an effort to protect Garcia.  I suppose some girls dig the douche bag syndrome.  Initially they stated that Max had been sick for the past week with a respiratory illness.  They claimed to have become concerned when it appeared Max was having trouble breathing.

Johnny Garcia

Johnny Garcia

Johnny Garcia plead guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to 44 years in prison as part of a deal with prosecutors in exchange for prosecutors agreeing to seek no more than 50 years.  He and his attorney declined to make any statements.  Prosecutor Ali Summers urged the judge to send Garcia to prison for 50 years, the most the state could recommend under its plea agreement with Garcia. Defense attorney John Delaney asked for a sentence of 35 years or less.  “It wasn’t the first time and it wasn’t the only time Garcia had abused the boy,” Summers said. “His entire adult life, all he has done is commit crimes.”  The judge said he considered Garcia’s previous felony convictions for burglary, mob action, criminal damage to property and aggravated domestic battery. Linsey Eyer was the victim of the last offense.

Linsey Eyer

Linsey Eyer

Linsey Eyer was sentenced to 5 years in prison for child endangerment.  She was originally charged with first-degree murder.  While being interrogated on the stand, Eyer claimed she did not know Max was even hurt.  Is 5 years the going rate for a child’s life these days?  It should be noted that Eyer had previously been warned by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services to never allow Garcia to be with Max, or his 7-year old sister, unsupervised.  Eyer testified in court that she had previously been in contact with DCFS because she suspected Garcia of abusing Max.  There was even a specific incident in September when Maxwell was beaten, but the incident went uninvestigated after the report. Instead, they offered up their suggestion.  Lansdon’s father has stated publicly that he believes the department should be held accountable for not coming to the boys’ aid before his murder.  He also stated that he believed Garcia’s sentence of 44 years was far too light.  I for one, agree with him.  From the sounds of things, the abuse would have been evident if looked into.  There is also many more children involved in this three ring circus, and God knows what they have endured as well.  Eyer has two children with Garcia, and was pregnant at the time of Max’s murder, Lansdon has two children with Garcia, and Garcia has yet another child from a previous relationship.  Anyone in support of sterilization?

Jeanine Lansdon

Jeanine Lansdon

Jeanine Lansdon was sentenced to 5 years in prison for her part in enabling Max’s murder, after pleading guilty in Madison County Circuit Court to a count of endangering the life of a child for failing to seek medical help for Max.  Lansdon must serve at least half of the full sentence, however, she was given credit for time served and could be out in as little as six months after the sentencing.  Lansdon admitted to seeing Garcia beat the little boy between 10 and 50 times. (10 and 50, really? REALLY?)  Lansdon did NOTHING at the time of Max’s death and cannot explain why she let him suffer for that long.  Lansdon initially denied seeing the beating at all, but later admitted to seeing one blow, which was enough to implicate Garcia.  She said “It sounded like a grapefruit hitting the ground”.  Maybe I’m a little sensitive to the issue – but if I ever saw something like this happening, hell if I even saw a child being smacked on the hand too hard, I would be all over that.  The next head being knocked on the ground would not be the child’s.

Maxwell Eyer

Maxwell Eyer

Some say justice was served for Maxwell Eyer.  I think we should hang our heads in shame when confronted with the fact that two of the people which let Max die, will only serve 5 years in prison, with good behavior, 2 1/2.  This little boy was beaten, on a regular basis, and at the end suffered for 12 horrifying hours in silence before his little body gave out on him.  I feel we owe Max an apology, an apology and a promise.  A promise to work harder, speak louder and stand taller when facing monsters such as Garcia, Eyer and Lansdon.  It is time we began to protect our children again.  It’s time for someone to take a stand for Max.


Maxwell Eyer - Heaven to Home



~ by LTWH on January 26, 2012.


  1. Thanks, Nadine, for posting this. I’m going to share it on our FB and the website. Even if I was not a mother of seven, my heart would be breaking. This is more than tragic. ~Teraisa

  2. Thank you for sharing Teraisa. It’s seems like such a simple thing, but the more people we share these horrific stories with, the more people we will find to stand with us and demand change. Please email me the links to your FB and website which you would like me to post ….. I would love to have the opportunity to share stories with the each other which we may have not seen otherwise.
    Congratulations on 15 years! It is very inspiring to follow your work.
    As a side note – 7?? You are one incredible woman!! My three are now 8, 6 and 5 – and I thought they were busy, add four more, well that’s what I would define as blissfull chaos and insanity! I can admit, I am a little nervous about having three teenage boys in a few short years – nervous about how I am going to feed them and their friends! They are already endless pits!

    Please, keep in touch.

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