Trial starts for man accused of beating 5-year-old to death

What you need to know: Friday

A trial started Tuesday for a 25-year-old man accused of beating his girlfriend’s 5-year-old boy to death in Sun Prairie in 2013.

Brayden Turnbill was found by his mother, Shannon Turnbill. He was barely breathing and investigators said he suffered serious head injuries. He died at UW Hospital a few days later.

Dakota Black was arrested on suspicion of first-degree reckless homicide. A jury was selected in Dane County on Monday.

Opening statements were made Tuesday.

Dane County Deputy District Attorney Tom Fallon presented a timeline of when officers came to the home to find the child unresponsive. Black had been the only adult in the home and detectives asked him for an explanation.

“Det. Smith asks him, ‘Give me some logical reason how this injury could have happened to him.’ The defendant answers, ‘I can’t,'” Fallon said.

Emergency responders also testified that Brayden was unresponsive and bruised when they got to the house.

The defense chose not to offer an opening statement Tuesday.

A criminal complaint stated that Brayden died from blunt force trauma to the head. Investigators said Black was the only adult home with Turnbill before he was found injured.

Black allegedly claimed Brayden came home from school and asked to go see a friend, then came home a short time later and said he wanted to go lie down. Investigators said Black said he never checked on Brayden again.

When asked how Brayden got hurt, investigators say Black first said, “I don’t know but the way he is … on my watch.” Then when asked what that meant Black said, “Whatever happened on my watch … I am responsible,” according to the complaint.

A cousin of Brayden on his father’s side said they believe the boy’s death could have been prevented.