WICHITA, Kan. – A Kansas man faces up to life in prison after he was found guilty Wednesday in the murder of a three-year-old boy whose body was found encased in concrete, four months after the child was killed.
Prosecutors presented evidence that Stephen Bodine, 41, horrifically abused Evan Brewer leading up to his death last year.
Over 16,000 photos and video files, collected on a home surveillance system, showed Bodine abusing the toddler, including footage of the boy chained and naked in a basement, standing in a corner for hours and being berated by Bodine and the boy’s mother, Miranda Miller.
Miller testified, in exchange for a lesser sentence, that Bodine was punishing Evan on May 19, 2017 for not eating. She said Bodine took her screaming son into the bathroom and when he emerged, he held the small boy’s wet and limp body in his arms.
She said during a preliminary hearing that a few days later, Bodine told her he wanted "to take care of Evan before he started to smell." She said he mixed up several bags of concrete and buried the boy's body in it.
Evan’s encased body was found in September 2017.
An autopsy couldn't determine the cause and manner of Evan's death because his body was so badly decomposed by the time he was chipped out of the block of concrete, investigators said.
Bodine was found guilty of first-degree murder, child abuse, aggravated child endangerment and two counts of kidnapping. Sentencing is set for Dec. 17; he could face life in prison with the possibility of parole after serving at least 35 years of his murder conviction.
Miller reached a plea deal for a sentence of more than 27 years behind bars, the Wichita Eagle reported.
Carlo Brewer, Evan's father, celebrated the verdict but said his joy was tempered by sadness because of the cruelty his son had endured. Brewer had been fighting for custody of Evan in the months leading up to his death, and authorities had been alerted at least six times that Evan was being abused.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.