A Mississippi man police have accused of severely abusing his girlfriend’s 14-month-old son and causing the toddler’s death, attended the child’s memorial service days before his arrest for capital murder.
On Sept. 29, Kahari Lofton was brought into a hospital because he was having trouble breathing and was pronounced dead later that night, WLBT reported.
Officials determined the baby died as a result of blunt force trauma in connection with child abuse, Jackson Police Deputy Chief Deric Hearn said.
Weeks after the child died, Jackson police arrested the boyfriend of the young victim’s mother, Trevonte Leshawn Willis, 28, and charged him with capital murder.
Jajuan Moore, the victim’s birth father, told WLBT he was struggling to comprehend why his son was dead.
“The last few weeks have been a whirlwind,” Moore told the station. “I haven’t even started the grieving process. Right now, I’m not at rest until I know exactly what happened to my son!”
According to the grieving father, he and Lofton’s mother split up last spring after she allegedly left the baby and a 4-year-old sibling alone.
“I told her she couldn’t get ‘em until she got help,” Moore said. “But a few days later, she picked them up from the daycare and wouldn’t let me see my kids for weeks. The daycare said they couldn’t keep the biological child’s mother from picking them up without a court order.”
Moore claimed Child Protective Services had a hard time helping him since he didn’t know exactly where his estranged ex was living with the children.
Days before his arrest, Willis and the victim’s mother attended an Oct.17 graveside service held for the boy.
“We locked eyes for a good three or four seconds. I think many people believed my son died a natural death, but I never, not one second, thought that,” Moore told WLBT, noting he had not been able to see his child since August.
Willis was being held without bond.
The investigation is ongoing.