Newton A south-central Kansas man accused of killing his girlfriend’s 19-month-old son pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and other charges.
Harvey County Judge Richard Walker ruled Friday that there was enough evidence to support trying Chad Carr in the March slaying of Vincent Hill. A pretrial hearing is set for Aug. 18.
Walker’s decision followed testimony from Harvey County Attorney David Yoder, who said Carr was alone with Vincent the day he died and that the toddler suffered multiple severe blunt-force injuries, the Wichita Eagle reported.
Defense attorney Charlie O’Hara raised questions about the timing of the injuries and said Vincent’s mother was the child’s caregiver. She also has been charged with battering and abusing her son.
Sheriff’s investigator Robert Guest testified that when he asked Carr about disciplining Vincent, Carr said at times in the past he shoved a rag into the toddler’s mouth when he cried loudly and would sometimes briefly cup his hand over the boy’s mouth. Carr also said he had tied the boy’s hands behind his back, Guest testified.
Guest said that when he asked Carr about the boy’s injuries, Carr said they came from falling down the stairs.
Scott Kipper, a deputy Sedgwick County coroner, testified that an autopsy and follow-up examination showed that Vincent died from a brain injury caused by a lack of oxygen, most likely from suffocation.