Marcus Holloway was 10 when he died May 5, 2011. The cause of death was determined to be severe malnutrition.
Prosecutors filed a notice in April that they intend to seek the death penalty for Connell C. Williams 32, The Oklahoman reported. Marcus's mother, Candice C. Holloway, 31 pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in April and agreed to testify against Williams in return for a 30-year sentence.
Both Williams and Holloway are originally from Virginia. Federal prosecutors say she and her children moved in with him, in housing at Fort Sill, in 2010.
The Oklahoma Department of Human Services reported both Williams and Holloway admitted they had been punishing Marcus since January 2011 by depriving him of food.
"Ms. Holloway reported Marcus was fed rice cakes, cereal bars and given water to drink on most days," the department said. "Ms. Holloway admitted she and Mr. Williams would hit Marcus on the buttocks, legs and head with a belt, plastic bat or drumsticks when he was disrespectful or would steal food. Ms. Holloway reported the night before Marcus died, Mr. Williams poured ice water over him as a form of punishment. She reported all she could recall Marcus eating the day before he died was a marshmallow pie."
Federal executions are unusual, the Oklahoman said. In the past 85 years, the only people put to death for crimes committed in Oklahoma are Arthur Gooch, who was hanged in 1936 for kidnapping two police officers, and Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.