Man accused in beating death of girlfriend's toddler

September 1, 2011 3:51:29 PM PDT
A family is in anguish over the tragic loss of a toddler allegedly beaten to death by his mother's boyfriend. The disturbing allegations have led to capital murder charges in the case.

In court Thursday, a judge had to admonish the accused killer, reminding him of his right to remain silent and not talk about the case. He's accused of doing the unthinkable to his girlfriend's 2-year-old son.

During a brief court hearing Thursday, Reginald Dancy, 22, could not stand still. Gruesome details of the murder he's accused of committing only seemed to add to his agitation.

"So severe that it almost severed the child's liver in half," said a prosecutor.

Investigators say Dancy savagely beat Tylan Thomas, his girlfriend's 2-year-old son.

"What would possibly make you hit a baby -- a two year old -- that hard?" said family friend Karnetra Wolford.

According to court documents, Dancy woke up in his girlfriend's southwest Houston apartment around 2am Tuesday to find Thomas playing with a DVD player. Dancy told investigators he disciplined the boy, but "missed the victim's buttocks and struck him in the back." The baby then fell onto his bed, he told police.

According to police, Dancy stated he then left the baby in his room, returned a few hours later and found the baby convulsing.

The boy's mother told police she'd put Thomas to bed at 10pm the night before, and that Dancy woke her up early Tuesday to tell her to check on the toddler because he was convulsing. She rushed Thomas to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.

An autopsy by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences determined the infant's cause of death to be blunt force trauma to the abdomen.

Dancy was just arrested Wednesday night, but Thomas' uncle says not before spending hours with them as they grieved.

"Laying around like nothing happened, smiling, laughing," said Howard Green. "I didn't see him shed one tear. I didn't see him crying not one time."

Green says it's as if Dancy thought he could get away with murder if he just ignored it.

"I hope that Reggie don't ever see the light of day again. I just hope," Green told us.

The boy's family says the funeral is planned for Saturday.

Dancy was taken into custody without incident. He is in Harris County Jail without bond. He's due back in court on September 6.

The District Attorney's Office has not said yet if it will seek the death penalty.

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