WICHITA, Kan. – A Kansas man was found guilty of first-degree murder when he abused and murdered a three-year-old boy whosein the laundry room of his home. Stephen Bodine, 41, from Wichita, was sentenced on Wednesday in May 2017 by Evan Brewer. The child's body was found four months after his death. Bodine was also convicted of child abuse, severe child harm and two cases of kidnapping. He will be sentenced on 17 December.
The prosecutors called dozens of witnesses during an emotional six-day trial and presented more than 550 pieces of evidence, including parts of the concrete tomb found in the rental house where the boy lived with his mother, Miranda Miller, and Bodine. The jury saw videos and photos of Evan being abused, including shots of him, chained and naked in a basement, insulted by Bodine and Miller, and forced to stand in a corner for hours.
A prosecutor smothered tears when she showed pictures of the boy in chains, reports CBS member KWCH. The boy's family visited the trial daily and cried after the verdict was read, the station reports.
The child was the grandson of former Kansas governor candidate and former Wichita mayor Carl Brewer. Carlo Brewer, Evan's father, praised the verdict, but said that his pleasure was tempered by the sadness of his son's cruelty. Brewer had fought for custody of Evan in the months prior to his death, and the authorities had been alerted at least six times that Evan had been mistreated, but the boy was never removed from the house.
"(Evan) did not get the imagination like other kids, thinking that there are monsters in their closets or under their beds," Brewer said. "He had hidden real monsters in his closet."
The case was one of several child abuse deaths that led to a flood ofbecause the young victims were not protected. In Brewer's case, the contested section was reported to have determined that the records had been changed to cover up the fact that an abuse report was never forwarded to an assigned social worker. Following an administrative reform, the new head of the department vowed to make changes
Miller is also being charged with murder in the death of her son. In return for testifying against Bodine, she will be allowed to plead guilty to guilty of second-degree murder.
Much of the evidence in the trial came from a cache of 16,000 photos and video files collected by the couple's home surveillance system. In a video, Bodine and Miller are chased by Evan over several hours, less than two months before his assassination.
Sedgwick District Attorney Marc Bennett said the jury had done an extraordinary service to the church because they sometimes endured horrible testimony
"I can not really exaggerate what a difficult task it was miserable details about how this little boy lost his life and the role that defendant had in it, "Bennett said. 19659002] Miller testified that Bodine had punished Evan for not eating on May 19, 2017 when he took the screaming boy to the bathroom. She said he soon came out with her son's wet and lifeless body in his arms.
She said during a preliminary hearing that Bodine told her a few days later that he "wanted to take care of Evan before he started to smell." She said he mixed several bags of concrete and buried the boy's body in it.
The boy's mortal remains were found by a landlord who cleaned the house after evacuating the couple in early September. The landlord discovered a concrete structure and noticed a smell that came from the Wichita police.
An autopsy failed to determine the cause and nature of Evan's death because his body was so badly decomposed when it was knocked out of the concrete block. He had Benadryl in his system, and Miller said she believed that Bodine had made him sick with large amounts of salt in the days before his death by force-feeding him.
Bodin's Own Daughter Samantha Johnson Also Testified Her Physical Abuse
The defense alleged that Bodine was absent for most of the alleged abuses, and emphasized that the coroner had never proved to KWCH how or when Child died. The defense also argued that of the thousands of videos and images that were collected, the jury had never seen Bodine physically abusing the boy.
Brewer said he hopes his son's death will lead to more efforts to combat child abuse.
step back and ask yourself what you do as a parent, whether it's the right path to discipline or not, or whether it's abuse, "Brewer said," because it has to stop. It has to stop. "