Father charged with death of 3-year-old son, Kaiden Garner, bond denied

Child murder suspects appear in court

LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) - Two people charged in connection to the death of 3-year-old Kaiden Garner appeared in a Lauderdale Courtroom today.

Authorities say they tried to make his death look like it happened in a hot car.

Those suspects are the boy’s father, Blake Townsend, who is charged with capital murder, and Yalrick Pride who’s charged with child abuse.

Shackled and in an orange, Lauderdale County Detention Center jumpsuit, Blake Townsend was escorted into a county courtroom today.

He’s charged with capital murder for allegedly beating his 3-year-old son, Kaiden Garner, to death in August.

Townsend along with this girlfriend, Yalrick Pride, were both arrested in August. Pride is charged with child abuse.

Both appeared in court today. During the arraignment, Townsend was denied bond. Both he and Pride were advised to seek youthful offender status in the case.

Youthful offender status can be granted to anyone in Alabama who’s under 21. They are both eligible because they’re 20-years-old.

Blake Townsend did not respond to any questions as he walked out of the courtroom today.

WAFF also talked with one of Townsend’s family members as they were leaving court today and he told us they just wish they could reverse the hand of time.

Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly told WAFF that his office is against youthful offender status for both suspects.

He explained what comes next in the case.

“We’ll be getting ready for that y/o determination hearing and we’re also waiting for the forensic evidence to come back from the autopsy report to review that and some point we will make the decision on whether we will seek the death penalty,” said Connolly.

Kaiden Garner’s mom Lesley was at today’s hearing, but did not want to speak on-camera afterward.

She tells that every morning she wakes up and knows that her life will never be the same knowing that her only child is gone. She said she wants justice for Kaiden.

If granted youthful offender, the case would be sealed from the public and tried behind closed doors.

Both suspects are set to appear in court next month.

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