Authorities on Wednesday released the identity of the 2-year-old boy found fatally beaten over the weekend in a Crystal home.
Joshua Isaiah Lockhart Jr. died from severe head wounds and other injuries, according to charges filed Tuesday against the mother’s boyfriend.
The Hennepin County medical examiner’s office, in disclosing the boy’s identity, said he died at Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis late Sunday afternoon and that “blunt force injuries” were present.
Quran J. Mitchell, 21, was charged in Hennepin County District Court with second-degree murder in the boy’s death, which came nine days after Joshua’s second birthday. Mitchell’s first court appearance was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.
Mitchell was on probation at the time he allegedly beat Joshua in the space he was renting from a husband and wife in the house in 3400 block of Adair Avenue. Less than 30 days before Joshua’s death, Mitchell was sentenced to 90 days in the workhouse on a misdemeanor domestic assault conviction, but that incarceration was set aside by Hennepin County Judge Bruce Peterson.
Mitchell also has a misdemeanor disorderly conduct conviction on his record stemming from his involvement in a fight in November 2015.
The boy’s mother, Ashley King, laid out numerous photos of her son on Facebook and posted “Rest In Paradise Baby” with his dates of birth and death.
A search of state court records Wednesday revealed no child protection investigations involving King or the boy’s father, Joshua Lockhart Sr.
On the night Joshua was taken to a hospital, doctors determined the boy had head and eye injuries and bruises on his left arm, shoulder, ear, cheek and forehead, “all indicative of child abuse,” a statement from the county attorney’s office read.
Mitchell had been beating the boy since the defendant, the child and his mother moved in two months ago, according to the prosecution.
Mitchell told police that the boy had been sick lately and that he had been having difficulty getting the boy to go to bed, the charging document against him read.
He added that he had hit the boy numerous times, sometimes on the face with a flip-flop “no more than five times,” the complaint continued, but noted that he made sure he didn’t hit the child too hard.
A message was left with Mitchell’s attorney Wednesday seeking a response to the prosecution’s allegations.
Star Tribune staff writer Brandon Stahl contributed to this report.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482