A Houston man, who is accused of punching and beating his toddler son to death, was charged with murder, according to reports on Thursday. Antonio Hicks Sr was initially charged with injury to a child; however, his charges were upgraded after the son died in a hospital.
Hicks, 21, reportedly lied to the Harris County Sheriff's Office saying he took his 2-year-old son Antonio Hicks Jr to the hospital after a stranger attacked the toddler. However, the child's injuries were not consistent with Hicks' initial claims. The hospital authorities noticed several wounds, some of which were healing and others were new.
Upon further interrogation, Hicks confessed to hitting the child in a fit of rage after finding the toddler smearing feces all over the bathroom. According to the authorities, Hicks said he hit the child in the chest "too hard" after he "snapped" during potty training.
Ariauna Washington, the child's mother reportedly said she was in another room when she heard Hicks shouting at the child and hitting him. The mother said she found her son unresponsive and had heard Hicks slapping and beating the child, Houston Chronicle reported citing court documents.
"But then they [slaps] turned into harder, more solid strikes," Washington said, according to the documents. She also claimed that she performed CPR on the child and told Hicks to call for an ambulance. But he took the son to the hospital instead.
Authorities at the Harris County Sheriff's Office said charges against Hicks are likely to be upgraded once an autopsy on the child was completed. Hicks is under custody and is being held on a $250,000 bond.
Relatives of the child, who was also known as Baby K, held a vigil for him outside Washington's house. They placed balloons and stuffed toys from his favorite shows in his memory.