Man accused of beating 3-year-old stepson to death weeps in front of judge

Channel 2 Action News was there when the man cried in front of a judge Monday.

CARROLL COUNTY, Ga. — A man accused of beating his 3-year-old stepson to death, wept in court Monday as he faced a judge.

Joshua Richards, 21, made his first appearance Monday after being arrested and charged in the death of Brentley Gore over the weekend.

Police said the boy's mother called 911 Tuesday morning after he didn't wake up and she discovered he was severely injured. The child was airlifted to an Atlanta hospital, where he later died.

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Richards said he dropped the child by accident.

Channel 2's Tyisha Fernandes was in the courtroom Monday where a family member promised they were going to get justice for Brentley.


Richards, the son of Carrollton police Chief Joel Richards, was initially facing several assault charges. But after his stepson died over the weekend, Richards was charged with murder in the little boy’s death. 

“The baby had multiple marks, bruises all over his body and a large knot over his eyebrows,” the judge said in court Monday. 

The judge went on to say the child had massive injuries to both sides of his brain.

Richards denied hurting his stepson on purpose. He said he dropped Brentley while his wife was asleep.

“He does admit to disciplining the child, as he was in fact living with the child for a number of months while he was in his custody. But at this point, he’s made no indication that he’s ever abused this child in any way,” defense attorney Mac Pilgrim told Fernandes. 

Richards' wife is currently two months pregnant with his child. 

His attorney realizes that people think he’s representing a child-killer. Pilgrim told Fernandes that people need to wait until all the facts come out.

“Hold your judgment the same way you’d want judgment held if this was your son or your daughter, or any family member,” Pilgrim said. 

Richards is currently being held with no bond.