A mother's boyfriend has been charged in the beating death of her 2-year-old son.
According to the criminal complaint:
The boy's mother called 911 around 11 p.m. Saturday because he wasn't breathing. Paramedics responded to the Crystal home and found the child unconscious, bruised and "obviously critically ill."
The boy died the next day, with doctors finding he had eye injuries, plus bruises on his left arm, shoulder, ear, cheek and forehead – all signs of child abuse. The final results of the autopsy are not complete, but the Hennepin County Medical Examiner says the boy's injuries were consistent with blunt force trauma.
A witness who lives in the same Crystal house said she had seen Mitchell beat the boy since they moved in two months ago, and on Feb. 11 she hard loud thuds from their apartment and the sound of a boy crying. Another witness said he heard Mitchell yelling, "Shut up," followed by banging noises.
Mitchell told police he hit the boy several times because he wouldn't go to bed, but made sure to "never hit him too hard." Mitchell reported hitting the boy in the face with a flip flip "no more than five times" and also using his foot on him, but said he didn't kick him.
Mitchell, who is not the boy's father, is expected to make his first court appearance Wednesday. Prosecutors are seeking a $1 million bail, a news release says. If Mitchell is convicted, he could face up to 40 years in prison.
Child abuse in Minnesota
There were 72,022 reports of child maltreatment (that includes alleged and confirmed reports of child abuse and/or neglect) in Minnesota in 2014, the latest Minnesota's Child Welfare Report says.
Neglect was the most common type of maltreatment, with 12,525 reports in 2014. Physical abuse made up 6,623 reports.
That year, 19 kids died as a result of maltreatment – 10 of the victims had been known to child protection before they died.
Most of the time – 77 percent – the caregiver who is mistreating the child is a biological parent, while 6.9 percent of the time the maltreatment is done by the unmarried partner of a parent, the report says.