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Father speaks out about the alleged murder of his two year old

By: Dave Spencer Email
By: Dave Spencer Email
  A father says he had a gut feeling something was wrong after a judge granted custody of his child to the child

Cayden Allen

Two-year-old Cayden Allen had just moved to Georgia from Kentucky, to live with his mother, when police say he was murdered.

Georgia authorities have charged the mother's boyfriend, 23-year-old James Sims, with beating the toddler to death for wetting his pants.

The boy's father, Christian Allen, says he's never met Sims and breaks down in tears when he thinks about the allegations against Sims.

Thursday when we spoke with Allen he says he chooses to focus on the good memories of his son.

He says, "He loved basketball, I used to take him to the court down the street, he used to watch us play."

Allen says he wouldn't wish the pain he's now feeling on anyone and says he's working on forgiving the child's mother.

The boy's paternal grandparents are also speaking out, saying a Boyle County Kentucky judge should never have given the boy's mother custody of her son.

Ann Thomas, 2-year-old Cayden Allen's grandmother, says the little boy "was just an angel and he is now, really." She says, "he wasn't gone but a week-and-a-half and then he ended up here in the hospital because he was beaten to death."

Until recently, Cayden Allen lived in Danville, Kentucky with his other grandmother. The boy's mother lived in Conyers, Georgia with her boyfriend. Thomas says a judge in Kentucky gave Cayden's mom custody of him less than two weeks ago and that's when he moved to an apartment in Conyers with her and the boyfriend.

Cayden's grandfather says the boy's mother made her intentions clear. "She left the courtroom and told her mother she will never see that child again."

Derek Thomas says he and his wife went to court trying to get the judge to stop child support payments from going to Cayden's mom. He says Cayden's mom didn't want to lose the money so she told the judge she wanted her child back. "The judge asked him if he wanted to go with his mother and he said no. He ran to his granny and said I don't want to go. The judge didn't do what he needed to protect the child" says Thomas.

Boyle Family Court Judge Bruce Petrie issued a statement Thursday saying: “While I certainly respect the media’s role in covering the news, judges are often restricted from commenting publicly due to the legal circumstances of a case. That restriction applies in this case, which is confidential due to the involvement of a juvenile. Therefore, I must respectfully decline to comment on this situation.”

Georgia authorities say the child was in the care of Sims while his mother was at work. Police say Sims claims he grabbed him and took him to the bathroom after the boy wet his pants. He told police the boy collapsed when he grabbed his arm but investigators say the injuries are inconsistent with that story and an autopsy indicated multiple injuries and showed he'd been hit the head several times.

Sims was arrested Friday night and was initially charged with first degree cruelty to children. Those charges have now been upgraded to murder.

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