Weeks after his girlfriend was sentenced to 29 years for second-degree murder, a Kansas man learned his fate on Monday in connection with the death of toddler, Evan Brewer, a boy found dead and sealed inside a concrete structure in 2017.
The Wichita Eagle reports that Stephen Bodine, 41, convicted earlier this year for the murder of his girlfriend’s son, Evan, was sentenced to 109 1/2 years behind bars by a Sedgwick County judge on Monday. The boy’s mother, Miranda Miller, 37, was sentenced last month.
“Your acts were disgusting and cowardly and monstrous,” Judge Steve Ternes told Bodine before handing down the sentence.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Evan was beaten and killed inside a Wichita rental home and discovered only after Dwayne Haukap, owner of the residence at 2037 South Vine in Wichita, came across a concrete structure exuding a strong odor while cleaning out the home. Haukup had previously rented the home to Miller, and Bodine, who wasn’t on the lease, moved in with her.
Police arrived after the landlord reported the foul smell, and when authorities pulled the cement lid off, they found the little boy’s remains inside. DNA later confirmed the remains were that of Evan Brewer, who had been missing for months. Miller and Bodine neglected and abused the little boy for months on end before Bodine killed him.
According to court records, child social services workers had been involved for numerous months before Evan’s death. One court document states Miller left the boy in filthy clothes and dirty diapers, while another court document stated that Bodine had beaten Evan so severely at one that the child needed CPR.
Yet, somehow, Miller still had the child in her care in 2017, months after the accusations. Police said they tried on several occasions to serve Miller with the PFA papers after the biological filed an emergency order, but they couldn’t locate her or the child.
Weeks before the boy was discovered lifeless in cement, a group of around 40 to 50 people showed up at Miller’s previous residence at Vine Lane, chanting for the boy’s safe return. Neighbors said they never knew Miller or Bodine and never saw them with the child.
Authorities eventually located the pair and arrested them.
Miller later testified that on the night of the murder, Bodine had been punishing Evan because the boy didn’t want to eat. Evan began screaming and a frustrated Bodine made him stand against the wall as punishment. After standing for hours, Evans legs gave out on him, which apparently angered Bodine even further. Bodine then slapped the child “with all of his strength,” picked him, and took him to the bathroom while Miller sat idly by.
Miller said she heard loud screaming, then silence, before Bodine walked out of the bathroom with Evan’s limp, wet, lifeless body in his arms.
A few days later, Bodine decided to “take care of Evan” before the toddler’s body began to smell. Bodine poured concrete over Evan’s body and made a structure that he hid in the home. Four months later, the landlord discovered the concrete block.
An autopsy couldn’t determine the cause of the toddler’s death, as he was badly decomposed when authorities found him. The autopsy did note, however, that Evan had Benadryl in his system. Earlier this year, Miller said Bodine may have made the boy sick in the days prior to death by forcing him to eat excessive amounts of salt.
The landlord said the structure measured a little over two feet wide and stood around 20 inches tall. The poured concrete was made to look like a workbench turned upside down. Haukap guessed that around “1,000 to 1,200 pounds of concrete” had been poured.
“And that made no sense to me,” Haukap said last year, indicating that he thought it strange for someone to set up that type of structure in the laundry room.
Haukap had seen Evan in the home before and knew the boy was considered missing, and immediately became suspicious that someone buried the 3-year-old inside the structure. He also knew that people suspected the child’s mother, Miranda Miller, of harming the boy.
Bodine later “acknowledged that he was the one who put the kid in the concrete in the laundry room.”
Evan’s father, Carlo Brewer, attended Bodine’s sentencing with family, who wept silently when the judge handed down the sentence.
“The outcome of it was the best possible outcome I could think of,” Brewer said after the sentencing. “We don’t have to worry about him (Bodine) getting out and hurting other children and people. This turned into a pretty good day.”
[Feature Photo: Evan Brewer/Handout]