8:20 PM

UPDATED: Stover Man Found Guilty Of Beating Girlfriend’s Little Boy To Death; Mom Gets Pregnant While Locked Up:

By Kathee Baird
January 30, 2015

Cass County, Mo.-
Thomas Joseph Presley is facing murder charges
A jury from Cass County found a man from Stover guilty of first-degree murder for the 2012 beating death of his girlfriend’s little boy.
Thomas “T.J.” Joseph Presley, 24, initially told authorities in February of 2012 that three year-old Blake Litton had been run over by a hit-and run driver on Hwy 135 near Buttons Road in Stover.  
Presley told Highway Patrol troopers that when he stopped alongside the road for a bathroom break 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 Blake and his sister, Faith, about 1 a.m. and took food to Jamie 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 four ten days later.
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, Jamie Miller Litton, 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.
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 was also found guilty of child abuse resulting in death.  Since the prosecutor did not seek the death penalty in this case, Presley will be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole when he is sentenced by Judge Kenneth Hayden on March 27, 2015.
Blake’s mom, Jamie Miller Litton, 28, is currently pregnant.  That happened while she was locked up in Laclede County  awaiting trial. Sheriff Wayne Merritt says Litton intentionally clogged a toilet in her jail cell and when a guard sent a male trustee to the cell the pair had consensual sex. The guard who sent the trustee instead of accompanying him to the cell has been terminated.
She is scheduled to stand trial for first-degree murder and child abuse resulting in death later this year.