Police chief’s son on suicide watch after he fractures toddler’s skull, beats him to death with belt: Police

A Georgia man is behind bars and reportedly on suicide watch after authorities charged him with the beating death of a 3-year-old boy.

NBC 11Alive reports that Joshua Richards, 21, the son of Carollton Police Chief Josh Richards, was arrested on Sunday afternoon after his stepson, Brentley Gore, died from blunt force trauma. The incident started on Tues. morning when police responded to an injured child call at the Hickory Falls Apartments in Villa Rica. The child’s mother called authorities and told them she noticed bruising on her son.

“There was some swelling around the eyes, some bruising that showed up on the forehead,” Villa Rica Police Captain Keith Shaddix said.

The little boy was airlifted and taken to an Atlanta hospital, where physicians indicated he had numerous skull fractures. He held on for several days, then passed away over the weekend.

On Tues., police arrested Richards and charged him with aggravated assault, aggravated battery, cruelty to children and marijuana possession. Murder charges were added after Brentley died, according to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution.

Investigators indicated that Richards used a belt and beat the boy so severely that he developed numerous fatal injuries.

“I’ve been doing this for 40 years and these kinds of cases break my heart,” Shaddix stated.

Richards appeared in court on Weds. where a Carroll County judge denied him bond. He’s reported to be on suicide watch.

The story is still developing. Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.

[Feature Photo: Joshua Richards/11Alive Screenshot]