Additional charges have been applied to a Stover man accused of beating his girlfriend's 3-year-old son to death.
Thomas Joseph (T.J.) Presley, 21, is now also facing two counts of endangering the welfare of a child in the first degree and abusing a child resulting in death, according to online court records. The charges are class C felonies and a class A felony, respectively.
Presley was originally charged with second-degree murder, a class A felony, stemming from the Feb. 16 beating that left Blake Litton, 3, dead.
Presley told police he lost control after Litton had soiled his pants, and he hit and kicked the child "more times than he could remember".
Later, the child was found unresponsive in the couple's home. Presley said he thought the child was paralyzed.
Fearing prosecution by police, Presley attempted to cover up the abuse by staging a hit-and-run accident just north of Stover on Route 135 near Buttons Road.
Blake's mother Jamie Ann Litton, 25, was also arrested and charged with second-degree murder and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child for her alleged role in failing to tell police the true nature and cause of Blake's injuries.
Before Presley called 911 about the fraudulent hit-and-run, Presley exchanged several text messages with Litton informing her about the abuse. Presley had also told Litton his plan of faking a car accident so Blake could receive needed medical attention while Presley avoided prison.
Blake was pronounced dead at 6:30 a.m. at Bothwell Hospital in Sedalia. An autopsy revealed Blake had died from numerous injuries including a lacerated liver and a ruptured blood vessel in his brain. Bruises and lacerations were visible on Blake's head, neck, torso, buttocks, legs and arms.
Blake's little sister also showed signs of abuse. A nurse examiner found she had suffered an untreated broken wrist along with visible bruising on her head, torso, legs, buttocks and arms. The injuries were anywhere from one to two weeks old.
The Department of Family Services removed Blake's sister from the home and placed her with relatives.
If found guilty, both Presley and Litton face life imprisonment sentences.