Father charged with beating toddler son to death in Bronzeville

Michael Robinson is accused of punching the child multiple times in the face at a home in the 4200 block of South Calumet Avenue.

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Charges have been filed in the fatal beating of a 1-year-old boy on July 7, 2020, in the 4200 block of South Calumet Avenue.

Charges have been filed in the fatal beating of a 1-year-old boy in the 4200 block of South Calumet Avenue. The child died Tuesday.

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Bail was denied Friday for a 23-year-old man charged with beating his young son to death in Bronzeville.

Michael Robinson faces a count of first-degree murder in the death of 23-month-old Antwun Gayden, Cook County prosecutors said.

Robinson had started visitation with his son only weeks before the boy was found unconscious Tuesday at Robinson’s home in the 4200 block of South Calumet Avenue, prosecutors said.

Antwun was dropped off at the home July 3 and had been sleeping in Robinson’s bedroom, prosecutors said.

About 2 a.m. Tuesday, an upset Robinson came out of his room and told another person the baby had broken a fan and that the baby needed a fan.

About noon that day, Robinson brought the unconscious boy to the same person and said the child had stopping moving, prosecutors said.

That person attempted to revive the baby, starting CPR, and 911 was called.

Chicago firefighters arrived first. Robinson told a CFD lieutenant the baby had been playing with a fan in his room and broke it, which had led him to beat the boy, including with a belt, prosecutors said.

Robinson acknowledged he “knew he hit too hard” and the boy “was just a little kid,” prosecutors said.

Robinson later made a similar statement to a Department of Children and Family Services caseworker, but prosecutors said he changed his story when police arrived, telling them he had “spanked” the child.

Michael Robinson arrest photo

Michael Robinson

Chicago police

The boy was pronounced dead at Comer Children’s Hospital at 12:41 p.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

An autopsy found he died of multiple injuries from child abuse; his death was ruled a homicide.

Prosecutors said the medical examiner noted blunt-force trauma to the boy’s spine and head, which caused bleeding in the boy’s brain.

Robinson, of Bronzeville, has no previous arrests, authorities said.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services said it is investigating.

Michael Clancy, Robinson’s attorney, said multiple people were at home when the boy’s injuries occurred and it wasn’t clear who else had contact with Antwun besides Robinson.

“I believe that the facts are definitely not as clear-cut as at this point as the government believes,” Clancy said.

Robinson previously worked with children at the YMCA without any incidents, Clancy said.

Judge Mary Marubio ordered Robinson held without bail, noting Robinson’s alleged consistent admissions about hitting the boy.

Robinson’s next court date was set for July 28.

Read more on crime, and track the city’s homicides.

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