Raw: Man accused in beating death of 4-year-old appears before judge

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by Nakia Cooper / KHOU.com

khou.com

Posted on December 22, 2011 at 10:37 AM

Updated Thursday, Dec 22 at 11:56 AM

HOUSTON—The 21-year-old Houston man accused of beating his girlfriend’s 4-year-old son to death appeared before a Harris County judge early Thursday.

Michael Allen Seaton is charged with capital murder in the beating death of Dustyn Skyler Roff. Dustyn’s mother, Britni Bereasa Glover, 23, is charged with injury to a child by omission.

When paramedics found Dustyn’s lifeless body in the early-morning hours of December 16, he had two black eyes, a laceration to his chin and multiple bruises on his face, arms, chest, legs and back, according to court documents. Investigators said all of the injuries were caused by Seaton while Dustyn’s mother stood by and did nothing.

Glover, a former stripper, told investigators she allowed Seaton to babysit Dustyn at her home in the 7100 block of Hillcroft while she worked full time at a day care. Seaton, who was already on probation for beating a 2-year-old in Lee County, brutally beat Dustyn multiple times in what investigators said was one of the most brutal cases of child abuse they’d ever seen.

Glover said a week before her son’s death, she returned from work to find Dustyn with two swollen, black eyes. Glover said Seaton told her Dustyn fell, which caused the injuries.

Glover continued to leave her son in his care.

Glover said on December 15, she and Seaton were arguing because she did not come home during her lunch break. Glover said when Dustyn walked into the room, Seaton backhanded him in the face. Dustyn burst into tears and ran into his room, according to court documents.

Investigators said Seaton left the home for a few minutes, then returned and went into Dustyn’s room, grabbed the crying child and began to shake him. Seaton then threw Dustyn to the floor and began striking him repeatedly in the abdomen and the back with his fists. Glover allegedly stood by and did nothing to help her son.

After the beating, Seaton left the apartment and Glover asked her son if he was alright. Dustyn told his mother that his stomach hurt. Glover did not seek medical attention for her son. Glover said later that evening, her beaten little boy fell in the bathroom, getting another bruise on his face, then went to bed.

Glover said around 5 a.m., she noticed her son was not breathing and immediately called for help.

A neighbor, who did not want to be identified, said they heard Glover’s screams.

"I heard this lady screaming, ‘My baby! My baby! Help! Help," the neighbor recalled. "I told her, ‘The baby is gone. That’s it. He’s gone.’"

Assistant Medical Examiner Dr. Merrill Hines, who conducted Dustyn’s autopsy, said the child had at least 100 contusions and multiple injuries to various internal organs. Dr. Hines said the cause of death was multiple blunt force injuries.

Seaton went on the run, but turned himself in to authorities Tuesday in Milam County, near Austin. He was picked up by Houston police and brought back to face charges.

Seaton remains in the Harris County Jail with no bond.

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