Detroit man charged with murder in 18-month-old's death

Police say man lied about home invasion

Published On: Jan 16 2012 08:57:44 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 17 2012 07:12:55 PM EST
DETROIT -

The family of man who is charged in the death of an 18-month-old Detroit boy is defending him, saying he would never hurt a child because he has five of his own.

Detroit police said 29-year-old Kerry Hawkins reported a break-in on Jan. 13 and said two men had assaulted himself and the boy.

But police said an investigation revealed Hawkins was responsible for the beating.   

The boy died the next day.

He was originally charged with child abuse. But after the boy died, the charge was changed to felony murder.

Hawkins’ sister told Local 4 he wasn’t the baby’s father but was letting the baby’s mother stay with him for a few weeks.

A friend of Hawkins said he's never heard of any trouble before.

“We’ve never seen no problems with this guy before. He’s been on the block with us for almost two years now,” said Paul Burton. “He’s even worked with us a few times. He’s a good guy.”