Prosecutors Consider Filing Murder Charge In Toddler's Death
Police: Man Admitted Whipping Girlfriend's Daughter With Belt
12:29 PM, Mar 16, 2009
An 18-year-old man is being held without bond Monday in connection with the apparent beating death of his girlfriend's toddler.Tayuan Chism went before a Marion County judge for an initial hearing in the case, but the judge granted a request for a 72-hour hold while prosecutors determine what charges they want to file, 6News' Julie Pursley reported.Chism had nothing to say to reporters as he walked into court Monday morning.Police said he beat his girlfriend's 14-month-old daughter, Lilianna Goodmann, last Wednesday in their home in the 2100 block of Amherst Drive. The child died on Friday."My grandson is innocent," said Adrienne Donaldson, Chism's grandmother. "He's not capable of doing such a cruel act."As family members looked on and Chism cried before the judge, prosecutors asked that he be held without bond."Now, we're reviewing additional charges, potentially filing murder charges," said Marion County Chief Deputy Prosecutor David Wyser. "We need additional time to review the autopsy report, as well as continue with our investigation."According to a probable cause affidavit, Chism told an investigator that he whipped the girl with a belt because she disrespected him and would not eat.Several people were in the apartment at the time. At least one witness and the child's mother, Rachel Goodmann, told investigators that the beating lasted up to two hours and that the child was struck at least 50 times."It's just horrific. How does someone strike a baby repeatedly ... with a belt," Wyser said. "It's unacceptable."Chism's family members were warned to stop emotional outbursts during the hearing and one person was asked to leave the courtroom.Rachel Goodmann, who is also 14 weeks pregnant, was injured in the incident. Investigators said some of her injuries came from trying to stop the beating.Chism is scheduled for another court appearance on Wednesday at 9 a.m. Prosecutors wouldn't comment on whether others might be charged in connection with the case.