A Texas father has been charged with capital murder after allegedly beating his sons so severely over their lack of progress in potty training that one of the children died, KHOU-TV reports.
According to the news station, 24-year-old Anthony Trakemon Powell could face the death penalty for the death of 3-year-old Tristan Powell. Charges for injuring the dead boy’s 2-year-old brother are also expected in the case.
On Mother’s Day, Powell reportedly picked up his two sons from their mother and took the boys to his sister’s apartment in Houston. He reportedly then became enraged with the boys’ lack of progress in potty training and began to beat them with his hands and a belt.
“I’m tired of beating their ass and them not learning,” he allegedly told his sister, according to court documents, the news station notes.
Sometime last week, Powell allegedly hit little Tristan so hard that the 3-year-old was knocked to the ground, hitting his head.
“[Tristan’s aunt] even described in the interview the sound that Tristan Powell’s head made when his head hit the floor of the bathroom,” one of the prosecutors, Connie Spence, detailed.
The young boy later said that he was sleepy. When his father awoke the next morning, he found that the child was having difficulty breathing. The aunt called an ambulance.
“The defendant’s attitude was fairly nonchalant,” Spence said. “In fact, according to witnesses, he was counting his money as he was riding to the hospital in the ambulance.”
At the Texas Children’s Hospital, an officer noticed that Tristan’s little brother was also injured. According to KHOU-TV, prosecutors relayed to the judge that Powell was believed not only to have beaten the 2-year-old but also to have scalded him with hot water. According to prosecutors, Prosha Nicole Land, the aunt of the two children, said that Powell took the younger child into the bathroom. She then heard running water before the boy began to scream “louder than she had ever heard him scream.”
The older brother later died; Tristan’s injuries were listed as a fractured skull and swelling of the brain. His little brother was hospitalized but is expected to recover.
Jade Tukes, Tristan’s mother, said that when she received the call from Powell telling her that her son was hospitalized, she did not originally think anything of it.
“The way his voice sounded, I didn’t think it was something as bad as it was,” Tukes recalled. “Thought he maybe had an allergic reaction or something.”
As for Land, she has reportedly been charged with injury to a child by omission.
Read more at KHOU-TV.