STATESVILLE, N.C. -- Twenty-year-old Shaquille Brown made his first appearance in an Iredell County courtroom Thursday Morning.

He's accused of severely abusing and causing the death of 17-month-old Leland Washington.

Statesville police have been investigating the case since last Wednesday when they were called to Brown's home at 1208 5th St. in Statesville.

I just think it's crazy because I have a baby myself. I never thought he would do anything like that, said Kiana Stevenson, a neighbor.

Stevenson says prior to the death she noticed unusual markings on the child.

He brought the baby over before. He would have some scratches and scrapes. I really don't know what happened to the baby, she said.

Leland was airlifted to Baptist Medical Center in Winston Salem last week. Police say he passed away on Monday.

Today a judge denied Brown bail, but his family is standing by him.

Don't believe everything on the surface. There is more to this story than has been told and needs to be addressed. There are additional questions, said Tisha Campbell, Brown's sister.

She says her brother is innocent and points the finger at the biological mother, accusing her of covering for someone else.

There are windows that can't be accounted for. The only thing I can think of she is pointing the finger because she already had a situation, she said.

Statesville Police says they have done a thorough investigation and are convinced they have their man.

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