Grandmother of murdered toddler: 'He didn't deserve this'

Startling new developments in the death of a 2-year-old in Gaston County.

GASTONIA, N.C. -- A man accused of murdering his girlfriend's 2-year-old son will remain in jail following a Wednesday afternoon court hearing at the Gaston County Courthouse.

A judge refused to set a bond for 25-year-old Marquis Graham, who's facing a first-degree murder charge carrying a punishment of either life in prison without parole or the death penalty.

Gaston County Police arrested Graham Tuesday afternoon after he turned himself in to CMPD officers following a brief manhunt.

RELATED: Man charged with toddler's murder surrenders to police

Investigators said Graham and his girlfriend drove her 2-year-old son, Kye Abdul Rashid, to CaroMont Medical Center Sunday afternoon where he was quickly pronounced dead.

Investigators believed Kye may have died before arriving at the hospital, but they aren't elaborating on the timeline.

Sharanda Barnett, Kye's grandmother, told NBC Charlotte that investigators believe her grandson died from blunt force trauma.

"He was a beautiful little boy," Barnett said. "He didn't deserve this at all."

After Graham's court hearing, family members, including his sister, Alona Stokley, proclaimed his innocence.

"He loves kids," Stokley said. "Why would he want to do something like this to somebody else's child?"

She and other family members believe there are several inconsistencies in the state's case against Graham.

"Karma comes around baby," Stokley said. "Karma comes around."

Prosecutors plan to bring Graham's case before a grand jury for indictment next Monday.

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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