The son of a police chief who is accused of murdering his three-year-old stepson broke down in tears as a judge detailed the injuries sustained by the boy.
The boy died over the weekend after suffering swelling on the brain from a brutal beating, Villa Rica police said.
Prosecutors claim Richards used a belt to beat his stepson while his mother, who has not been named, slept in the next room of their home in Hickory Falls, Georgia.
She called the police after finding bruises on her son and struggling to wake him.
Richards denies killing his stepson and investigators said he told them that he dropped the child by accident.
“He does admit to disciplining the child, as he was in fact living with the child for a number of months while he was in his custody," his attorney Mac Pilgrim told reporters after the hearing.
"But at this point, he’s made no indication that he’s ever abused this child in any way,”
A fundraising page set up on behalf of his family said Brentley ”underwent emergency surgery to remove a portion of his skull to relieve some of the pressure”, but he succumbed to his injuries just days later.
Richards, the son of Carollton Police Chief Joel Richards, was originally charged with aggravated assault, aggravated battery, cruelty to children in the first degree and possession of marijuana.
Investigators told WBS-TV2 that Chief Richards had been "professional and supportive" with them and had been "open to an information they had asked of him".
His son being held at the Carroll County Jail and is reportedly on suicide watch.
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