In 10-year-old Takoda Collins last hours of life, he was punched, elbowed and as he laid on his stomach, his father stood on his back, forcing all of his weight and crushing the boy.
That’s according to a memorandum filed by prosecutors in the case against 32-year-old Al-Mutahan McLean ahead of his sentencing hearing Wednesday. The pages describe in horrific detail the torture and abuse authorities say Takoda suffered before McLean killed him in 2019.
Prosecutors in the memorandum reiterated their position that Takoda lived in “Hellish” conditions. They said that the details were provided by McLean’s girlfriend Amanda Hinze and her sister Jennifer Ebert as police investigated the boy’s death and the actions alleged match the injuries doctors found on Takoda after he died.
Prosecutors said after hitting Takoda and standing on him, McLean had Takoda stand in a “punishment pose” as he went downstairs to watch TV. But, they said, the father wasn’t finished. Prosecutors said McLean called Takoda derogatory names and poured hot sauce on Takoda’s buttocks.
“Still not satisfied that Takoda was sufficiently compliant, Defendant Mclean threw the child around some more, and grabbed him by the ears, and dragged him down the steps,” the memorandum says. “Defendant took the child into the bathroom and told him to clean his shorts, when Takoda again did not move fast enough, he was told to move faster or he was going to be drowned. Defendant Ebert, from the living room, then heard splashing and Takoda gasping for air.”
The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office said Takoda’s death was a homicide, ruling he died of blunt force trauma in combination with compressive asphyxia and water submersion in a bathtub.
McLean has pleaded guilty to charges of murder, rape, kidnapping and child endangering and will be sentenced to life in prison. A Montgomery County judge will decide when McLean will become eligible for parole at Wednesday’s hearing. As part of the plea agreement, McLean will face at least 40 years behind bars before becoming eligible for parole and could face 51 years before the case is heard by the parole board.
Prosecutors asked Montgomery County Judge Dennis Adkins to sentence McLean to the maximum punishment, saying that a doctor who reviewed the case said Takoda’s bruising was the type of injury typically observed in catastrophic events like a severe car accident.
Meanwhile, McLean’s defense attorney, Michael Booher, also filed a sentencing memorandum asking the court to sentence McLean to the minimum possible sentence, 40 years to life in prison. The defense argued information gathered against McLean from Hinze and Ebert isn’t reliable and describes Takoda’s final hours differently, saying that the child had severe behavioral issues and inflicted a lot of his injuries on himself.
It says McLean did get angry with Takoda, spanked him and “threw him around” before Takoda started having difficulty breathing.
“Al, without reservation accepts that his actions resulted in the death of his son,” The document says. “He does not forgive himself nor point blame towards anyone else. He does however express concern for narratives being offered by others either vilifying him based upon a false history or recreating their own false history of involvement with his son.”
“Takoda was exceptionally intelligent,” The memorandum says. “He was an avid reader and very creative. He would share things with his father that Al did not know. The two would rap together and Takoda could create or complete lyrics better than anyone. For all of the problems, flaws and misguided bad acts, they still were a family. This is a tragedy, not only for Takoda, but for all the members of his family, including his father.”
Hinze and Ebert will also be sentenced on Wednesday. The sisters have pleaded guilty to manslaughter and children endangering charges. Prosecutors said in the sentencing memorandum that they both allowed the abuse to go on and would alert McLean when Takoda failed to maintain a punishment pose knowing the child would be beaten.
The court document says Hinze faces up to 30 years in prison while Ebert, who took a plea deal last year, faces up to 11 years.
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