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Cops: Tot beaten to death with leather belt for urinating

NEED TO KNOW
  • 1-year-old boy beaten to death with leather belt
  • Police: Suspect told police child urinated when he was changing diaper
  • Austin Hamilton, 24, charged with first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse
Cops: Tot beaten to death with leather belt for urinating

A Florida man has been charged with murder after police say he beat his girlfriend’s 1-year-old son to death for urinating inside a motel room as he was changing the boy’s diaper.

Austin Hamilton, 24, is charged with first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse. He’s being held at the Hillsborough County Jail without bond.

Tampa police said Hamilton called 911 on the night of August 9 to report that the child was having trouble breathing.

Authorities say the victim’s mother left the victim, along with her 6-year-old son, in a room at a Motel 6 with Hamilton earlier that morning when she went to work.

When medics arrived at the scene, they said they found the child lying unresponsive on a bed inside of the room.

The child was transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital where he later died.

Hamilton initially denied hitting the victim and told police the child was not involved in any accidents that would have caused fatal injuries, Tampa police said in a news release.

However, a medical examiner’s report revealed the child died as a result of blunt force trauma to the lower abdomen, the news release said.

“Hamilton changed his story and stated that while he was changing the victim’s diaper, the child urinated inside of the motel room,” police said in the press release. “’He lost control’ and hit the victim several times all over his body with a leather belt.”

Police alleged Hamilton also told them that while he was disciplining the victim, he tried to pick the victim up, but the boy fell and hit his head.

Investigators say Hamilton is not the biological father of the victim or the 6-year-old boy who was also in the motel room at the time of the alleged murder.

The 6-year-old was not injured during the incident, according to police.

Online court records say Hamilton has not yet retained an attorney. 

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