Opening statements in the trial revealed how prosecutors plan to prove Roderick Fountain killed his child, without having the alleged victim's body.
Prosecutors say Fountain was with two friends at his apartment watching basketball the night before he reported his three-year-old son missing. The state says one of those guests will testify that he heard Fountain beating the preschooler because he wouldn't stop crying.
"The defendant went into the room and he could hear the defendant hitting that child," prosecutor Connie Spence told the jury. "He could hear -- he knew, based upon what he was hearing, and based upon the noises he heard from Kendrick, that he was getting 'whooped.'"
Prosecutors say the child was suddenly silent, and that Fountain emerged from the child's room asking guests to leave. Three years later, prosecutors say, Fountain confessed to an inmate who will testify that Fountain killed his child.
Spence said, "The defendant told him that he hit Kendrick and he put his body in some garbage bags, and he took that body, and they ain't ever gonna find him."
The defense says the state's case is all circumstantial.
Defense attorney Charles Brown, Jr., said, "No report, no CPS report, no police report, no mention of any kind of violent behavior between the defendant Roderick Fountain and Kendrick Jackson."
They plan to poke holes in the testimony from three witnesses, hoping to demonstrate that Roderick Fountain is not guilty.
"Three people make statements to the police who eventually change their statements," Brown said. "But their original statements must be taken in the light of what we're talking about."
If convicted, Fountain could spend life in prison for felony murder.