Murder charges filed in toddler death

Joe Laswell charged with murder

Murder charges are filed against a Clark, MO man in the death of his girlfriend's toddler.

Tuesday , Joseph Laswell saw his charged amended to include second degree murder. He already faced charges for child abuse and neglect and second degree assault in the death of Jayden Bradds.

It was Laswell who took the 18-month old to the hospital in Moberly in November, but the child was already unconscious and was later pronounced dead.

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.