Man accused in death of girlfriend's son

HOUSTON Until now, Charles Edward West, 26, had been the chief person of interest in the toddler's death last year. Now he is charged and in jail.

It happened last December at an apartment complex on Whitaker near FM 1960 in Humble. Investigators say West lived with his girlfriend, Tiffany Williams, and the child, at the Park at Deerbrook Apartments.

West was the boyfriend of the child's mother. He is now accused of felony murder through reckless bodily injury.

The toddler he's accused of killing is Joshua Williams, just two years old when he died. It took months for a forensic exam of his injuries to be complete. It was delivered this week to the District Attorney's office and the results were deeply disturbing. An autopsy determined that the manner of death was homicide, and that the child died from blunt force trauma.

"He had 27 fractures of his ribs and there was no evidence of any healing in any of those bones," said prosecutor Connie Spence.

That is in addition to a lacerated liver, all the result of a beating the little boy received while his mother was in the kitchen making dinner.

Police say Williams and her son were inside the apartment when West, who worked maintenance at the complex, came home to check on them. Williams told investigators that she was in the kitchen when West went to a back bedroom where the child was. She says West came out of the bedroom shortly after with a scared look on his face.

Williams told investigators that West told her that he had hit the child too hard in the chest, and that he didn't want Williams to say anything because he didn't want to go to jail.

That's when Williams says she rushed to the back bedroom, where the child was unresponsive. She took him to the bathtub and ran water over him, but still got no response.

According to court documents, the defendant called his mother, who instructed them to call 911. When the ambulance arrived, paramedics transported the child to Northeast Memorial Hospital in Humble, which is where the child was pronounced dead.

Williams told investigators that she had noticed West hit her son in the chest in the past, either while 'playing' or out of anger. She also says he has struck the child with a belt.

West, 26, was arrested on Thursday on a warrant issued by the Harris County Sheriff's Office. West is being held on $100,000 bond.

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