In Maryland, 25-year old Myron Antonio Gibson “wrestled” with his girlfriend’s son, DeSean Tyrese Wade, so severely that he killed him.  Gibson is charged with 1st-degree child abuse and not murder because the medical examiner has not ruled the death a homicide.  From the article:

Gibson told detectives he elbowed the boy about 10 times in the back, and at some point, DeSean fell forward and struck his forehead…

The poor child had bleeding of the back and head, brain swelling, and a broken rib.

Dennis Theodore Wade, DeSean’s father, had previously expressed concern to authorities after finding marks on his son that caused him to fear for his safety. As the investigation turned up nothing that the authorities could pursue, the child was permitted to be in his mother’s custody per an agreement between the parents. Though social services suggested he not allow the mother to have any custody of the child, Mr. Wade felt he was under a legal obligation to allow it. (There was no court order.)

For the full article: Md. Man, 25, Says Toddler Died After Wrestling With Him

We can’t help but think that had he followed the advice of social services (who, by the way, deserve kudos in this case for stepping up and actually telling a father to do something in the interests of protecting the child) – the mother would have filed for custody of the children and, like so many other fathers – he would have ended up with far less custody than he had in the existing arrangement.

It’s sad that his choice to do what he thought was right, proper, and legal – working to maintain the relationship between the mother and child, ultimately would cost the boy’s life.