Boy beaten to death remembered in vigil

July 14, 2010 4:32:03 AM PDT
Friends and family gathered to remember a 6-year-old boy who police say died after his father beat him. The community is rallying around to support his mother and draw attention to the issue of domestic violence. That vigil took place outside the home where the Tekerrious Jackson took his last breath. He was allegedly beaten by his father.

In the wake of the 6-year-old's death, some are wondering if ex-convicts are being evaluated properly and whether they're receiving treatment they need before being reunited with their children.

Crying uncontrollably, Lucy Adams walks to the front door of a home, where Tekerrious allegedly was beaten to death by his father Saturday night for not going to sleep.

In and out of jail the last several years, Alex Duncan recently reunited with Jackson, but on Saturday night, for almost eight hours, investigators say he made his son kneel on the ground and repeatedly punched Jackson in the chest until the boy went into seizure and died.

While some wonder whether ex-convicts need more parental training, others say successful programs are already available.

"My dad was incarcerated," said 12-year-old Devin Varnadl, a member of the organization No More Victims.

The organization helps parents being released eased back into society and family relationships. One of their first steps is addressing anger.

"I had some things that went on when I was young," said Demetrius Varnadl. "It's not a pretty picture, but as I got older, I decided to stop doing them and then taking a stand and then I said to myself I'm not gonna be a victim."

The group hosts weekly meetings, and this week, Jackson's death drove the conversation.

"If I could look at my dad and be confident that he won't beat me, then it's kinda sad how this man went out on his own son," Devin Varnadl said.

Duncan was watching Jackson because he was paying child support and had joint custody of the child. It was his turn to have the child.

Duncan is jailed on a murder charge, and his girlfriend, Tammyra Sampson, allegedly witnessed the beating, so she was charged with injury to a child by omission.


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