An Ohio man is in jail awaiting a hearing next week related to charges that he fatally beat his fiancee’s infant child just days before the two wed last year.
According to the Akron Beacon Journal, the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force officers arrested 21-year-old Justin T. Layne on Thursday in connection with felony warrants related to 6-month-old Braydon M. Perry’s death last November.
Though Layne faces charges of murder and child endangerment, his wife — the boy’s mother — defended him in a recent statement on the matter.
“No parent should have to deal with a tragedy of losing a child,” Valerie Layne wrote. “This was a tragic accident.”
She claimed that details she learned about the circumstances led her to believe that “it could have happened to anyone.”
As her husband faces prepares to face charges, Layne made it clear she still stands by him.
“I support my husband and strongly believe he would never purposely hurt our son,” she wrote. “Please keep me and my family in your thoughts and prayers while we go though [sic] this horrible nightmare.”
She concluded her statement with a message for her deceased son.
“Mommy loves you Braydon and misses you soooo much!!!” she wrote.
Authorities say the suspect was living with his fiancee and was taking care of the victim at the time of the deadly beating.
After local police were called to the Perry Township home, Braydon Perry was taken to Akron Children’s Hospital where staff described his injuries as “consistent with abuse.”
He died the next day of blunt force trauma to the head, according to officials.
[Featured image: Valerie Layne, Braydon Perry, Justin Layne/Facebook]