Stover man charged in boy’s death

Officers: Man tried to conceal fatal beating by staging hit and run

A Stover man has been charged in the death of a Morgan County toddler after the man allegedly staged a hit-and-run accident Thursday morning to cover up an earlier assault on the child, authorities said.

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Thomas J. Presley

The investigation is continuing, officials said. The Associated Press reported Thursday night the mother had been arrested as well.

According to the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department, a call came in around 5:10 a.m. Thursday from Thomas J. Presley, 21, Stover, who reported a 3-year-old boy in his care had been struck by a car on Missouri 135 near Buttons Road. Presley reported the incident as a hit-and-run.

Law enforcement and medical personnel responded to the scene and found Blake Litton unresponsive. He was transported to Bothwell Hospital in Sedalia where he was pronounced dead at 6:30 a.m.

Presley was further questioned by law enforcement because of inconsistencies at the scene, statements Presley made and the violent trauma to the head and torso of Litton, authorities said.

Upon further investigation, it was determined that Presley staged the hit-and-run to cover up an assault on the juvenile that took place at his residence at 105 Oak Park Lane in Stover.

Presley is being held at the Morgan County Jail pending formal charges of second-degree murder.

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