- Associated Press - Monday, March 30, 2015

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A man suspected in the death of a 1-year-old Maryland boy found inside a backpack in a central Ohio creek was charged with murder Monday after the toddler’s mother agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.

Prosecutors and an attorney for the toddler’s mother alleged that Kurt Flood believed the boy had demons and beat him to get rid of them.

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien has said authorities believe Flood was the person who assaulted Cameron Beckford but his mother is responsible for not intervening.

The mother, Dainesha Stevens, had left Frederick, Maryland, in mid-December and stayed with Flood, 24, in Columbus.

Authorities believe Beckford was injured on Dec. 25. When Stevens later found the boy unresponsive, she and Flood put his body in the bag and left it in the water nearby, prosecutors and Stevens’ attorney said.

Stevens initially told police she left Cameron on a stranger’s porch, she later changed her story and pointed them to the creek where they found the body Dec. 31.

The toddler had bruises on his lower back, kidneys and lungs, and bruises and scarring on his buttocks, according to the county coroner.

Stevens, 25, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and evidence tampering last week and agreed to cooperate in any proceedings against Flood.

Flood also was indicted on charges of felonious assault, endangering children, evidence tampering and abuse of a corpse. Court records listed no attorney for Flood, who had been jailed on a suspected probation violation.

Flood was scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday. He could face life in prison if convicted of all charges, according to the prosecutor’s office.

The prosecution and defense are recommending a 12-year sentence for Stevens, who is scheduled to be sentenced July 23.

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