There’s a Devil Loose: Stepfather Indicted in Connection to ‘Suspicious’ Death of Grand Prairie Boy

The stepfather of a 6-year-old Grand Prairie boy who died in February 2020 was indicted in the child’s death on Thursday.

Jojo King died after spending four days in a Dallas hospital ICU. His stepfather, Brandon Hale, said he found the boy inside a toy chest, according to an autopsy report. Hale hypothesized that Jojo fell inside the chest and suffocated, according to Joseph King, Jojo’s biological father. King did not believe this narrative and maintains that Jojo died from drowning.

Hale was indicted on a charge of injury to a child related to Jojo’s death. He was charged in December. His attorney declined a request for comment on the indictment. In January, a spokeswoman with the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office said the office couldn’t answer why Hale has not been charged with murder because the office cannot comment on pending cases.

“I’m very glad to see the justice system is starting to prevail and begin the necessary justice that (Jojo) deserves,” King said. “This has been a nightmare of a scenario for me and my family since this has taken place. And we are not going to get any sleep until this person is placed into prison where he belongs.”

An autopsy report concluded that Jojo died from hypoxic encephalopathy — a form of brain damage caused by loss of oxygen or drowning. The medical examiner notes that Jojo was wet when EMS found him and “there was concern for possible homicidal drowning.”

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Source: Fort Worth Star-Telegram