Verdict reached in Tumlin trial
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- Reginald Tumlin took the stand first thing Thursday morning and was cross examined by state prosecutors for more than two hours. The jury had to decide if he's guilty of murdering his 3-year-old son Jaylen in April, 2010.
Tumlin is charged with aggravated child abuse, aggravated child neglect and felony murder. State prosecutors argue Jaylen was beaten to death. "My son is real bright skin so anything that touch him, he'll bruise real easily," Tumlin says.
Tumlin testified he did bite his son on a number of occasions but it was all in play. "Yes, I'm telling the truth. That was just play, how I play," says Tumlin.
The defense spent hours questioning Tumlin about the events that led up to Jaylen's death. Tumlin testified he heard his son breathing funny and began making weird noises. However, prosecutors argued no one rushed Jaylen to the hospital.
During closing arguments the defense told the jury the timeline does not add up and there is no forensic evidence that links Tumlin to the death of his son. The medical examiner previously reported the cause of death was a perforated bowel. However, prosecutors argue that happened because of one of Tumlin's heavy blows to Jaylen.
The jury came back with a verdict just before 6 p.m. First count of felony murder by aggravated child abuse, guilty of child abuse. Second count of aggravated child abuse, guilty. Third count of felony murder by neglect, guilty of criminally negligent homicide. Fourth count of aggravated child neglect, guilty.
Tumlin's sentence hearing is scheduled for Aug. 27.