Local News

Slain toddler's family to celebrate his life after guilty verdict

Posted August 29, 2014 4:11 p.m. EDT
Updated August 29, 2014 6:07 p.m. EDT

— The family of a 16-month-old beaten to death by his father plans to release balloons next week at an event to celebrate and remember a life cut short by a violent act.

Evans Aine II, 31, of Spring Lake, was sentenced Monday to life in prison without the possibility of parole after a jury found him guilty of first-degree murder and felony child abuse in the June 11, 2012, death of Kaiden Demus.

Aine told investigators that Kaiden fell on a sidewalk outside their home on Edwards Avenue, but an autopsy contradicted the claim, finding that the boy had been beaten with a belt and fists and also suffered blunt-force trauma to his head and body.

A Cumberland County jury deliberated for about an hour before returning its verdict in Aine's weeklong murder trial.

Family members say they spent every day in court reliving a tragedy and hope the balloon event, planned for Sept. 6 at St. Joseph Miracle Revival Center in Red Springs, will help ease their pain and remember good memories of Kaiden.

"(The verdict) does give me a sense of closure, because I know that the person who did this is locked up," the child's godmother, Tanika Murray, said Friday. "He can't hurt anybody else, but I still have that longing in my heart for Kaiden."