A prosecutor says the death penalty will be considered in the case of a Las Vegas man accused of kidnapping and killing a 4-year-old boy and hiding the body in a freezer while guarding the boy’s mother captive.
LAS VEGAS – The death penalty will be considered in the case of a Las Vegas man accused of abducting and killing a 4-year-old boy and hiding the body in a freezer while holding the boy’s mother captive, a prosecutor told a judge at a press conference. a brief scheduling hearing on Friday.
Clark County District Court Judge Tierra Jones postponed arraignment of Brandon Lee Toseland until at least April 15 on 10 counts, including murder, kidnapping and child abuse in death of the boy and felony domestic battery, alleging that he suffocated the child’s mother.
Toseland appeared via video from the Clark County Detention Center, where he has been held without bail since his Feb. 22 arrest. Defense attorney Augustus Claus said in court Friday that Toseland, 35, would plead not guilty to all charges.
Police said they found Toseland in a vehicle with the boy’s mother after the boy’s 7-year-old sister gave her teacher a handful of sticky notes from the mother saying she was being held captive and believed the boy’s brother the girl had died at Toseland. Police said they also found handcuffs with the woman in the car.
The boy’s frozen body was found in a freezer in the garage, wrapped in plastic and bearing what police said were visible injuries from physical abuse.
An indictment that added four counts against Toseland was filed Thursday, moving the case from local court to state court for trial.
Claus said on Friday he had not received a medical examiner’s report and an autopsy on the child, who the indictment said died of internal injuries.
Prosecutors Michelle Fleck and Christopher Hamner declined to comment in court.
The Clark County Coroner’s Office said decisions on the cause and circumstances of the child’s death are pending.
“We plan to vigorously defend the case,” Claus said in a brief interview. “There is a whole alternative version of events that has not been given a voice. We plan to be that voice.
The mother’s attorney, Stephen Stubbs, alleges that she was physically, sexually and emotionally abused by Toseland and that her children were physically and emotionally abused and kept away from her most of the time.
The Associated Press is not naming the mother or children to avoid identifying a victim who alleges sexual abuse. Stubbs said the mother did not want her name made public.
The boy’s father died in January 2021 of a respiratory illness. Stubbs said the mother and her two children moved into the Toseland home last March.
Another woman, Marylee Ruiz, who said she had two children with Toseland before ending her relationship with him about five years ago, appeared in court on Friday. Ruiz said she was concerned about what her children, now 7 and 5, have been through living in the house.