A man from Georgia has been charged with the beating death of his 3-year-old stepson. Joshua Richards, 21, was arrested on Sunday after the child, Brentley Gore, died as a result of blunt force trauma, NBC 11Alive reports. Gore was injured days earlier, on Tuesday, and fought for his young life until he succumbed to the skull fractures. His mom called police after noticing bruising on the toddler.
“There was some swelling around the eyes, some bruising that showed up on the forehead,” Villa Rica Police Captain Keith Shaddix said.
Richards, son of Carollton Police Chief Josh Richards, is accused of being the one who hurt and ultimately killed Gore. According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, police believe the mother was sleeping in the other room when he allegedly attacked the child. Prosecutors believe he used a belt as a weapon.
"He denies any sort of abuse, he does admit to disciplining the child as he was in fact living with the child for a number of months as he was in his custody,” Richards’ defense attorney said after Richards was charged with murder, according to Fox5Atlanta.
Richards is currently on suicide watch. He was tearful and visibly distraught during his court appearance, after the boy’s death. Murder charges were tacked on to the pile of charges Richards already faces (including cruelty to children) after Gore died.
According to his Facebook page, Richards works for a home security company. He married Gore’s mother last June. That woman appears to be pregnant with her second child, according to WSB-TV.
[Photo: NBC 11Alive]