|Thomas Joseph Presley is facing murder charges|
A man from Morgan County is facing murder charges for allegedly beating his girlfriend's three year-son old to death.
Authorities say Thomas "T.J." Joseph Presley, 21, initially called them about 5:10 a.m. today (02-16-12) to report that little Blake Litton had been run over by a hit-and run driver on Hwy 135 near Buttons Road in Stover.
The Associated Press is now reporting that the mother, Jamie Miller Litton, 25, has been arrested as well.
Inconsistencies in Presley's statements, coupled with the violent trauma to the little boy's head and torso, led to couples arrest.
Presley told Highway Patrol troopers they had stopped for a bathroom break and Blake darted into the road, where he was struck by a hit-and-run driver.
Troopers became suspicious as there were no skid marks in the road and the boy's injuries were not consistent with a hit-and-run.
Sheriff Jim Petty says investigators determined that Presley had been to Wal-Mart with a three year-old little Faith and Blake about 1 a.m and took food to the children's mother at work. Then sometime between 2 and 3 a.m., "The little boy misbehaved and messed in his pants and he (Presley) lost it, I guess."
|Blake Litton was beaten to death|
According to the probable cause statement, Presley told detectives he became enraged at little Blake about 2:30 a.m. and beat him with the heel of his hand and stomped on him saying, "I really beat him bad this time." Presley said he blacked out as he beat the boy, who would have turned 4 in ten days.
Presley said he put Blake to bed and about thirty minutes later he heard a thud in the kitchen and discovered the toddler unresponsive on the floor. Presley told cops he thought the little boy was paralyzed and knew he was "injured very badly and appeared to be gasping for breath as his eyes were rolled back in his head."
|Jamie Ann Miller Litton has been charged with murder for her toddler's death|
The sheriff says sometime between 3 and 5 a.m. Presley put the girl and the fatally injured little boy in the car and drove to Golden Age Living Center, where their mother worked. It is there that the couple allegedly "hatched a scheme to keep the boyfriend out of jail," according the the sheriff.
According to court documents, Presley told Jamie Litton in text messages BEFORE he arrived at her place of employment that he "lost it" and beat the boy so badly he thought he was paralyzed. He told Litton he "thought he over did it."
Litton told her supervisor that she needed to leave to take her son to the hospital and she was told she could not leave. A co-worker corroborated Litton's claim, according to court documents.
Litton told Presley he needed to take the child to the emergency room for treatment but he said, he "couldn't because he would go to prison for the rest of his life" When Presley showed up at her workplace Litton told investigators her little boy had a "weak pulse." She said, "he (Presley) was crying - I was crying," but little Blake "looked peaceful in his booster seat."
|Baby Blake Litton|
Presley told investigators that as he drove Blake toward Sedalia for medical treatment he "realized he was deceased" and called 9-1-1.
At 5:15 a.m. Litton clocked out of work after telling co-workers Blake had been hit by a car. She walked home then rode to the staged hit-and-run...never informing anyone the truth of what happened to her little boy.
The cause of Blake's death was a lacerated liver and a ruptured blood vessel in his brain. He had bruises covering the majority of his little body.
After law enforcers told the couple they could leave with the little girl they went to a neighbors house and Litton left her little girl with Presley to go visit her mother.
Petty said, "Upon further investigation it was determined that Thomas Presley staged the hit and run to cover up an assault on the juvenile that took place at his residence at 105 Oak Park Lane in the city of Stover. "
Sheriff Petty says, "At the very least this involves a cover up that resulted in the death of a toddler that never should have happened. I have a three year-old grandson....this has been a really hard day."
Presley told investigators he believed Jamie Litton was cheating on him and they were having relationship problems.
The little girl, Faith Emma Litton, who has been placed in protective custody, had a broken wrist and bruises on her head, buttocks, legs, torso and arms when she was examined by doctors. Doctors say she was missing a patch of hair that had started to grow back above a bruise on her head. Her liver enzymes were elevated, "which can be an indication of blunt injury to the liver."
|Blake and his sister Faith|
When she was interviewed about what happened to her brother she said T.J. punched Blake in the mouth because he "pooped." She said she witnessed Presley put her brother in the bathtub and " hit him with the bathtub a lot" and that Blake kept popping more while that was happening.
Presley, is facing a second-degree murder charge and is being held in the Morgan County Jail on $100,000 cash only bond. Jamie Miller Litton has been charged with second-degree murder and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Her bond is also set at $100,000 cash only.