ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) — A Limestone County district judge is withholding bond for a man charged with beating his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son to death in Athens.
During a court hearing Thursday, Keshan Allen, came off as visibly frustrated, shaking his head while Athens Police Detective Sgt. Kelly Fussell spoke, recalling the details of the death investigation.
Allen, 30, is charged with felony murder and aggravated child abuse in the fatal attack on May 12.
Along with an Aniah’s Law bond hearing, a preliminary hearing for Allen also took place. During the proceedings, investigators spelled out the case against him.
Sgt. Fussell said Athens Police Department received a call about an unresponsive child on the floor around 10:24 a.m. on May 12. The child was transported to the hospital and pronounced dead a few hours later.
APD got a search warrant and searched the apartment the child was taken from, while another investigator spoke to Allen at the hospital, Fussell said.
Fussell testified that during a conversation with a police sergeant at the apartment, Allen reportedly said, “You’re going ask why there’s a lot of bruises on him because I was hitting and punching him trying to wake him up.” Then at the hospital, Fussell testified Allen allegedly said, “I know why you are here. I was trying to wake him up.”
Fussell testified Allen initially told investigators the two-year-old had an accident on himself, so he put the child in the shower and left to get him a new diaper. When he came back, he claimed the child had fallen in the shower and was unconscious.
The detective saw the child in the ER with the coroner and noted he had a lot of bruising and exterior trauma.
“It looked bad,” Fussell testified. “It raised a lot of red flags.”
The medical examiner determined the child had died from blunt force trauma, Fussell testified. The toddler had blood in his abdomen, his liver appeared split and his collarbone was broken where it connected with his shoulder, Fussell said. The medical examiner was asked if the injuries could have occurred during life-saving measures and Fussell testified that she replied, “Absolutely not.”
Allen was taken in for questioning Tuesday, Fussell said, and he eventually admitted some “discipline” was implemented before the child got in the shower. Fussell testified Allen said, “I punched him in his stomach and grabbed him by the shoulder and put him up against the corner.”
Fussell testified that apparently, this was standard discipline employed by Allen against the child.
Fussell said Allen told authorities he’d only been living in Alabama about three weeks, and his driver’s license is from Michigan. The child’s father is currently in Madison County jail on unrelated charges, according to Fussell’s testimony.
In an order filed Thursday afternoon, Limestone County District Judge Gray West explained why he will not grant bond for Allen:
“To start, there is no offense more serious in nature than this, where it is alleged that the Defendant beat a 2-year-old child to death. The punishment warranted for such a crime bears no comparison to any other non-capital offense. In addition to the allegations, the Court heard sworn testimony from the lead investigating officer on the case, Detective Kelly Fussell.
What’s clear from the evidence presented is that the child died from internal injuries caused by blunt force trauma. It was not a drowning. It was not a seizure. It was not any other independent natural cause. The child was beaten to death. What’s also clear from the evidence is that the only adult present in the home when these injuries were inflicted upon this child was the Defendant, Keshan Darrel Allen. As if it weren’t obvious enough, the Defendant admitted to Detective Fussell to administering discipline on the child just prior to his death by grabbing him by the shoulder and punching him in the stomach. The weight of the evidence against the Defendant could not be stronger.
Finally, if anyone could be considered a flight risk, it would absolutely be this Defendant. The Court received evidence that the Defendant has been in the State of Alabama for no more than three weeks. He has no ties to this community, no job, and no family here. In fact the evidence suggests that he has ties to the States of Michigan and California.”Gray West
Limestone County District Judge
Judge West also bound the case over to a grand jury Thursday afternoon.