A Tennessee man was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the death of his girlfriend's 5-month-old son.
Braxton Edwards, 20, was babysitting 5-month-old Maxyn Killingsworth on July 27 while the boy's mother, Destiny McCurdy, was at work, the Jackson Sun reported. Edwards told authorities he tripped and fell on the baby, reports the Daily Mail.
Sheriff Paul Thomas made a statement in a news release:
Edwards told investigators with the Gibson County Sheriff’s Office that he tripped while walking with the child and the child began to seize. Edwards later called 911, and the child was initially transported to the emergency room in Union City, Tennessee, and later transferred to LeBonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Once at LeBonheur Children’s Hospital it was determined that the child had a subdural hemorrhage with compression fractures of the T11 and T12 vertebra.
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Maxyn died from his injuries on July 30. Edwards was initially charged last week with aggravated child abuse and neglect. He posted a $25,000 bond and was released from prison.
On Aug. 1, The Gibson County Sheriff's Office and District Attorney’s Office decided to charge Edwards with murder and he was arrested again.
Edwards admitted to shaking Maxyn three to four times while he was seizing because he “didn’t know what was wrong with him,” according to court documents. Maxyn died as a result of bleeding on his brain, brain swelling, and compression fractures.
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Doctors at LeBonheur hospital told police that Maxyn’s injuries "are much more severe than what would be expected from a simple fall and are concerning for non-accidental trauma."
“Knowing that he’s in a better place and he doesn’t have anything else to worry about,” Maxyn's father, Dexter Killingsworth, told the Jackson Sun. “Even if he didn’t learn to walk here, he can learn how to walk up there on the golden streets.”
Killingsworth said he was supposed to be with his son on July 27. He said McCurdy told him Edwards would drop the child off.
"If he had brought him to me like he was supposed to, my son would still be alive," Killingsworth said. "The last call I got from him was that I need to get to the hospital because my kid is in the back of an ambulance."
Edwards is currently being held at Gibson County Correctional Complex on $100,000 bond. He will appear in court on Oct. 4 for a preliminary hearing.
"I don't think he should have a bond," Killingworth said. "I think he should be in prison for the rest of his life."
Despite the charges, Edwards' mother, Staci Brewer, maintains her son’s innocence, according to the Daily Mail.
"It was an accident," Brewer said. "A child has died, and a mother has lost her baby. My son did not harm this child with intent or with malice. He did not harm this child or intend to kill him.”
"My son is the sweetest, kindest soul. He would do anything for anyone on this earth," Brewer added. "I'm so sorry for that mother and the loss of her baby. My son is grieving along with her. But he is not a monster."
Autopsy results will be available in about six weeks.
"There has got to be something more,” Brewer said. “I can only hope at this point that everything will come to light. We will support him every single step of the way. We will stand beside him because he is not a murderer."