Jeremiah Malachi Bradshaw died Nov. 24, a month shy of his second birthday.
WEST PALM BEACH —The 28-year-old accused of beating his girlfriend's 1-year-old son to death last year in West Palm Beach will remain in the Palm Beach County Jail, a judge ordered Friday morning.
Octavious Wiggins, 28, was arrested Thursday on charges of aggravated manslaughter of a child and of child abuse in the November killing of 23-month-old Jeremiah Malachi Bradshaw.
Wiggins refused to appear before Judge Charles Burton for a bail hearing Friday. His stepmother, who would not provide her name, said after the brief hearing that Wiggins is innocent.
She said he never intended to hurt the child.
Wiggins claimed to have "blacked out" when he beat Jeremiah on Nov. 1. Jeremiah's 5-year-old sibling told West Palm Beach police that “Tay” gave Jeremiah a “whooping” after the little boy fell in the road.
Jeremiah's mother, Stephanie Robinson, told police her son was fine when she left him in Wiggins' care that day. When she returned, his body was "completely limp," so she called 911. He was taken to St. Mary's Medical Center, where he died Nov. 24.
Robinson, 25, was arrested Monday on a child-neglect charge for reportedly failing to keep her son safe and is out on bond.
She and the Florida Department of Children and Families had filed restraining orders barring Wiggins from having contact with Jeremiah after the little boy's arm was broken in June.
Wiggins said he had yanked the boy off a bed, which caused part of the bed to collapse and Jeremiah's arm to break. Riviera Beach police investigated that case, and in September said they had evidence to arrest Wiggins on an aggravated child-abuse charge.
As of Thursday, the Palm Beach County State Attorney's Office had not decided whether to pursue those charges.
DCF found its plan to keep Jeremiah safe was "insufficient." They noted Robinson's unwillingness to stay away from Wiggins as well as her noncompliance with what they asked of her. Child-welfare workers didn't revamp the safety plan when they should have, the state found.