Dad KEVIN ANDRE TOWLES is on trial for murdering his 5-year-old son. But he wasn't the first child he abused, according to an older son, who lived with his custodial dad and stepmother for 2 years. Not a word on what happened to the boy's mother or how he ended up in daddy dearest's "care."
Son: Towles had history of child abuse
By Antrenise Cole & Katherine Poythress
Times Staff Writers
Published: Friday, October 9, 2009 at 9:57 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, October 9, 2009 at 9:59 p.m.
Kevin André Towles has abused a child before, according to the testimony of his 15-year-old son.
Prosecutors called the teenager Friday to testify in the capital murder trial of his father, who is charged in the beating death of 5-year-old Geontae Glass in December 2006.
“My dad had beat me before, after I continuously got in trouble at school,” the teenager told the jury.
Towles’ son said he was a victim of his father’s abuse about three years before Geontae’s death.
He said he lived with his father and stepmother when he was 8 and 9 years old and was taken from Towles’ home when he was 9 years old.
“I had a lot of cups under my bed, and (Towles) got mad and picked up a metal box fan and hit me,” the boy said. “He was fussing at me about the cups.”
He said his father hit him in the side of the head with a metal box fan that was in his bedroom and later took him to school.
School officials discovered a “golfball-size knot” on his head and contacted the Department of Human Resources.
“I had never been hit that hard,” the boy said.
He testified he had not seen his father face-to-face since that day in 2003.
He said his father used other things to strike him when he was being punished.
The boy said leather belts were used at first; then, extension cords and a cord that was attached to an air conditioning unit.
At some point, a broomstick was used, and Towles’ fists were used several times, he said.
“He struck me with his fist because I got in trouble at school,” he said.
“It was in my mouth, sometimes in my stomach and sometimes in my chest.”
“After the extension cord stop working, he told me he was going to start fighting me,” he later said.
The boy said he went to the doctor after Towles hit him in the mouth. He said after the doctor visit, Towles cried about hitting him and told him that he wanted him to do better in school.
“When he hit me on the mouth, he kind of cried and told me he just wanted me to act right,” the boy said.
Geontae Glass’ older sister, Shaliyah, now 10, testified earlier this week that Towles also cried the morning she last saw Geontae walking and talking.
That morning, Towles and Gee went outside, Shaliyah testified. She said Towles was a “little mad,” and told Gee he was going to pay, “I don’t know about what,” she said.
Shaliyah was watching “Sponge Bob Square Pants,” and before the show went off, Towles came back in the house, carrying Gee.
“He had his head on his shoulder, like he was sleeping,” she said. “He went and laid Gee down and covered him up.”
Shaliyah said Towles then started to cry, and she never again saw her little brother move or speak.
Towles’ 15-year-old son stated he lived in fear of abuse from his father, especially when it came to his performance and behavior at school.
Geontae’s kindergarten teacher has testified that he appeared scared and his behavior improved on the Friday before he was beaten, after he discovered she had given him an unfavorable conduct grade.
In cross examination, Jason Wollitz, deputy capital defender, office of the capital defender for the Commonwealth of Virginia, retained to represent Towles, asked the boy if the knot on his head had happened when he hit his head on the doorway in an attempt to pull away from a spanking, and not from a beating.
“If he was to have spanked me, I would not have gone to school with a knot on my head that day,” the teen said. “And furthermore, I never was stronger than my father, and I never pulled away from him because I knew he would stop beating me eventually.”