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Parents of toddler beaten to death appear in court

Keyoni Broderick had a short life. Prosecutors say it was a violent one, too.

The 6-month-old girl died in a Charlotte hotel room last October. Both parents, who made separate appearances Thursday before Superior Court Judge Richard Boner, have been charged with murder in connection with her death.

Her father, Todd Eric Boderick, told the judge for a third time that he wanted a new attorney.

Later, the child’s mother, Krishay Mouzon, and her attorney asked Boner to set a reasonable bond on the murder charge. Eventually, Boner set the amount at $200,000.

But first, Mouzon heard Assistant District Attorney Bill Bunting read detail after detail of her child’s serious injuries.

Keyoni’s skull had been crushed, Bunting said, as if it had been resting against a hard surface and someone had stomped it. Her skull had smaller fractures throughout.

She also had bleeding on the brain, some of it fresh, some of it old enough that the blood had started to clot.

“I’ve heard enough,” Boner said.

Bunting pushed on.

Based on the medical examiner’s report, he told the judge, the infant’s ribs had been repeatedly fractured during her short life. “They were broken and then they started to heal. They were broken again and they started to heal, and then they were broken again.”

When Bunting started describing the 2010 child-abuse charges against Boderick and Mouzon involving another of their children, Mouzon’s attorney, Norman Butler, objected.

Boner pre-empted any debate.

“I’ve heard enough,” he said, for the third and final time.

Keyoni was not breathing last October when police arrived at the hotel room where her parents were staying.

At the hospital that night, Mouzon told investigators that the infant had been dropped by her 4-year-old sister. Later, she admitted she had lied. In court on Thursday, Butler said Boderick had put her up to the story, adding that Mouzon had nothing to do with her daughter’s death.

Boderick was arrested and charged with murder and child abuse four days after Keyoni died. Mouzon was indicted and arrested in late May after a medical examiner’s report indicated repeated abuse of Keyoni.

In 2010, the couple was charged with felony child abuse of their then 7-week-old son, who was hospitalized for bleeding of the brain, skull and rib fractures, and other injuries. Once again, the couple told investigators that the baby had been dropped. The charges were later dropped, and the boy as well as another child of the couple now lives with Mouzon’s mother.

Boderick’s appearance Thursday morning was a brief one. He wanted another attorney. Pressed by Boner, he said he and Susan Weigand, his court-appointed counsel, didn’t agree on how to handle his case.

Boner shot back: When the doctor tells you what’s wrong, do you argue with the doctor? The judge then agreed to meet privately with Weigand to decide the next step.

He later granted Mouzon’s bond – which brought her total to $305,000 – along with two conditions: If Mouzon is freed, she cannot have any contact with Boderick, he said, “and you can’t be around any children – yours or anybody else’s.”

Teen gets 22 years

Russell Allen Austin got $5 for robbing Jamie Rea. He got at least 22 years for killing him.

Austin, who was 16 when he shot and killed Rea on Nov. 30, 2011, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and other related charges. Under the plea offer, Boner sentenced him to 22-28 years.

The shooting occurred outside a motel on East Independence Boulevard.

Ned Parker said Rea, whom he called his best friend, was only a block from his home when he died. He was 27.

During Austin’s hearing, Parker sat in a row crammed with Rea’s friends and family.

“Jamie used to tell me, ‘Nobody dies for no reason,’ ” his father Frankie told Boner. “But I can’t think of one reason why he died. I don’t understand it. I don’t understand all the killing.”

He returned to his seat in tears.

Austin, now 18, has a lengthy arrest record, including several breaking-and-entering charges, possession of a stolen vehicle and reckless driving.

Frankie Rea, who lived with his son at the time of his death, said he didn’t know Jamie had left the house that night or why he had gone to the Econo Lodge. Authorities told him Jamie tried to run from Austin, but the gunman had shot him in the back.

Austin’s attorney Gregory Woods told Boner that his client “is an intelligent young man who regrets what happened.” Austin didn’t look at the Rea contingent or speak to them or the judge.

When the sentencing was over, Jamie Rea’s friends and family walked out as one. Frankie Rea stopped in the lobby to answer a few questions.

He said he was satisfied with what took place in the courtroom.

“It’s over, we don’t have to go through a trial,” he said. “Now we can get on with our lives.”

Gordon: 704-358-5095
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