A Bronx man was charged Saturday with fatally beating his girlfriend's toddler son — after he tried to blame the boy's fatal injuries on a tumble out of a stroller, police said.
Kenneth Lynch, 36, was ordered held without bail on manslaughter charges for the brutal assault on 2-year-old Messiah Allen.
"You think you trust someone, but you can't," the boy's anguished mother Erica Whitehurst said at a candlelight vigil Saturday night.
"I'm extremely hurt and just numb. I just can't think." Messiah was unconscious and bruised when medics arrived at his apartment in the Sotomayor Houses on Bruckner Blvd. in Soundview Thursday night, police said. Lynch, who is Whitehurst's boyfriend, claimed that Messiah took a spill out of his carriage.
The beau tried to revive the boy with CPR, then called 911 when unsuccessful, authorities said. Little Messiah died at Jacobi Medical Center.
An autopsy revealed that the boy had broken teeth and injuries to his torso.
The cause of death was blunt force trauma, the city Medical Examiner's office said Friday.
Whitehurst was at work when her son died, authorities said. "My son is gone. There's nothing that can bring him back.
Nothing can replace him," she said at the Saturday night vigil outside her old Harlem apartment.
"He was so happy, very verbal and loved bananas ... Never would you have thought something like this could happen to him." Lynch, who had been living with Whitehurst and her son for about five months, has prior arrests for assault and robbery.
Lauren Bibbs, the mother's best friend, said Lynch gave no indication that he could be trouble. "I know him. I thought he was a good guy," said Bibbs, 53.
"He has kids of his own." Bibbs said Messiah was a rambunctious boy with a ready smile. "He's always running around, so cute," she added.
"Always smiling and he's trying to play with the big kids like he's all grown."