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Boy assaulted, brain-damaged as baby dies at 14. Should his old assailant face charges?

Deters looking into murder charge
Posted at 11:03 AM, May 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-21 19:05:18-04

CINCINNATI — Carl Leggett Jr. was shaken and beaten as a baby. That was in 2005.

Carl died last weekend — 14 years later. Now the man who pleaded guilty and served time for that crime could end up facing a murder charge and going back to prison.

Prosecutors would have to prove that Carl's injuries contributed to his death, but first they have to research the case to see if Ohio law allows them to file new charges.

There's no question in Shannon Jordan's mind what should happen.

“No murderer should be able to walk the street, and he is a murderer,” Carl’s grandmother says. “It may have been 14 years later because as time goes … but he’s still a murderer just the same.”

Baby Carl filled a photo album of memories for his grandmother.

“Carl when he was born,” says Jordan, flipping through her album. “The hospital with mommy.”

Jordan says she looks through the album frequently when she wants to remember her grandson. She looks at another photo.

“That was about two weeks before he was hurt,” she says. “That’s where our hell began.”

At 5 ½ months old, Carl stopped smiling and laughing, Jordan says.

“When he got hurt, we lost all of that... Then it just became doctor’s appointments, medicine, pain, therapies, surgeries.”

A man who had been dating Carl’s mother for about two months — 33-year-old Terry Stiles — shook and beat him, Jordan says.

“He took the baby out of my daughter’s arms when she was asleep … said he was putting him back to sleep,” Jordan says. “He took him upstairs out of earshot and punched him in his head twice and shook him.”

At Stiles’ sentencing, Jordan lashed out at the man who beat her grandson.

“Now my grandchild will never crawl,” Jordan said so long ago. “He will never walk. He will never have his first girlfriend, Terry. He will never do anything because of you."

Jordan's anger is still fresh today.

“I’m furious. It’s not fair,” Jordan says. “He gets to have children, healthy children … but destroyed the life of ours.

“For his small, little time on this earth, he endured so much that no child should have to go through.”

Carl had one ailment after another, Jordan said.

“He ended up having to do a tracheotomy and developing scoliosis and having part of his hip removed .. pancreatitis and having his gall bladder removed … He’s had surgery on both arms and legs.”

Now that Carl has passed, there’s a chance the case could be reopened as investigators look into whether the boy’s death was due to his injuries from 2005.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said his office is reviewing the case and that he would charge Stiles with murder if he can legally do so.

But Ohio law has changed since 2005. Back then, a prosecutor didn’t have to declare if he planned to pursue additional charges. If records show the prosecutor did not declare that, Deters might not be able to file additional charges against Stiles.

“We lost the most beautiful little boy senselessly,” said Jordan. “There’s no reason why he should’ve done this to him. No reason.”

Jordan is raising funds for her grandson's funeral. If you want to contribute, click here or make a donation in Carl Leggate Jr.'s name to:

Fares J. Radel Funeral Home
5950 Kellogg Ave Cinti. OHIO 45230