WICHITA, Kan. (CBS) – A Kansas man has been found guilty of first-degree murder in the horrific abuse and slaying of a 3-year-old boy whose body was found encased in concrete in the laundry room of his home. Stephen Bodine, 41, of Wichita, was convicted Wednesday in the May 2017 death of Evan Brewer. The child’s body was found four months after his death. Bodine was also found guilty of child abuse, aggravated child endangerment and two counts of kidnapping. He will be sentenced December 17.
Prosecutors called dozens of witnesses and presented more than 550 pieces of evidence during an emotional six-day trial, including parts of the concrete tomb found in the rental home where the boy had lived with his mother, Miranda Miller, and Bodine. Jurors saw videos and photos showing Evan being abused, including footage of him chained and naked in a basement, being berated by Bodine and Miller, and forced to stand in a corner for hours.
A prosecutor choked back tears as she showed pictures of the boy in chains, reports CBS affiliate KWCH. The boy’s family attended the trial daily and cried after the verdict was read, the station reports.
The child was the grandson of former Kansas gubernatorial candidate and former Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer. Carlo Brewer, Evan’s father, praised the verdict but said his joy was tempered by sadness because of the cruelty his son had endured. Brewer had been fighting for custody of Evan in the months leading up to his death, and authorities had been alerted at least six times that Evan was being abused, but the boy was never removed from the home.
“(Evan) didn’t get to have the imagination like other children, where they think there’s monsters in their closets or under their beds,” Brewer said. “He had real monsters hiding in his closet.”
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