Gatesville Man Indicted for Capital Murder in Connection to Toddler’s Death
A Gatesville man accused of sexually assaulting and violently murdering a 2-year-old child could face the death penalty after being indicted Wednesday on a charge of capital murder.
KWTX reports that 27-year-old Chet Michael Shelton was indicted by a grand jury in Coryell County and remains in the county's jail on $500,000 bond.
Coryell County District Attorney Dustin Boyd told KWTX he plans to pursue the death penalty at trial.
Investigators say Shelton was romantically involved with the mother of the victim, Makai Brooks Lamar. Lamar's mother left him in Shelton's care on the night of Wednesday, January 13, 2016, while she was at work.
Emergency services were called to a home in the 3400 block of Imperial Drive in Gatesville around 8:20 that evening, where they found Lamar lying unresponsive on the floor.
Shelton told officers he put the boy to bed earlier in the evening and noticed he wasn't breathing while checking on him later. Shelton said he performed CPR on the child, then rushed him to the home of a neighbor who happened to be a sheriff's deputy when that proved unsuccessful.
Ambulance workers told investigators that they noticed injuries on that child that were inconsistent with emergency medical treatment, including bruises and burns to the child's head, face, abdomen and limbs. They said it appeared as if the boy had been struck several times in the head.
During a search of the boy's room, police found blood stains on both a pillow and a comforter on the child's bed.
Lamar's remains were sent to the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas, where a medical examiner concluded that the child died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head and internal injuries. The examiner also found evidence that the boy's anus had been penetrated, resulting in trauma.
Shelton was arrested on Sunday, January 17, and charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child.
A press release from the Coryell County District Attorney's Office indicated that, at the time of Lamar's death, Shelton was on parole after serving a sentence for injury to a child.
It was later reported that Shelton was charged with four counts of indecency with a child by sexual contact and three counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child in May of 2007. In December of 2007, Shelton was charged with three further counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child. The sexual assault charges were dropped after Shelton pleaded guilty to injury of a child.
In October of 2010, Shelton was charged with two counts of aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury.