Man appears in court after toddler's death

Joe Laswell

A Randolph County man is being held on $250,000 cash-only bond after the death of his girlfriend's toddler.

The funeral for 18-month-old Jayden Bradds is planned for Friday. Jayden died Sunday after police say 23-year-old Joe Laswell took the baby to the hospital in Moberly.

Jayden was already unconscious when they arrived and was pronounced dead.

Laswell, who lives in Clark, was arrested Sunday and arraigned in court Tuesday on charges of second degree domestic assault and child abuse.

According to the probable cause statement, the baby had old and new bruises on his face and body.

The statement also says that Laswell initially told officers Jayden had tripped over a toy and struck his head on a table, but he later admitted to pushing Jayden to the ground because the child picked up Laswell's cellphone.

Laswell said that while Jayden was on the ground, he spanked the child and intentionally dropped the cell phone on his head.