Boyfriend charged with murder in death of girlfriend’s 14-month-old son, police say

Trevonte Willis, 28, is charged with capital murder in the death of 14-month-old Kahari Lofton.
Published: Oct. 20, 2022 at 1:00 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT/Gray News) - A 28-year-old Mississippi man has been charged in the death of a 14-month-old toddler, according to authorities.

Police in Jackson said Trevonte Leshawn Willis has been put behind bars without bond.

Deputy Chief Deric Hearn said Willis is the boyfriend of Kahari Lofton’s mother. Kahari died from blunt force trauma brought on by child abuse, Hearn said.

Officials said Kahari was taken to a hospital for breathing issues on Sept. 29. WLBT reports the child died at the hospital the same evening.

The child’s biological father, Jajuan Moore, told WLBT he has a range of feelings about everything. He said the biggest emotion is an unnerving, unsettled feeling.

“The last few weeks have been a whirlwind,” Moore said. “I haven’t even started the grieving process. Right now, I’m not at rest until I know exactly what happened to my son.”

Moore said he and his child’s mother split up in May after she allegedly left Kahari and their 4-year-old child home alone.

Moore said he kicked her out of the apartment and refused to let their children go with her.

“I told her she couldn’t get ‘em until she got help,” he said. “But a few days later, she picked them up from the day care and wouldn’t let me see my kids for weeks. The day care said they couldn’t keep the biological child’s mother from picking them up without a court order.”

Moore said he called Child Protective Services, but was told caseworkers were limited until he could provide an address for the child’s mother.

The father said he laid his 14-month-old son to rest Monday in Smith County, with the child’s mother and both of their families in attendance.

Moore said even Trevonte Willis attended the graveside service.

“We locked eyes for a good three or four seconds. I think many people believed my son died a natural death, but I never, not one second, thought that,” Moore said.

Moore said the entire service was tense and awkward.

Moore, who coaches little league basketball in Mississippi, said the last time he saw his son was in August.

“He was so full of life, and if he wanted something, he had no problem letting you know it,” Moore said.

Jackson Police did not release any additional details about the kind of abuse the child suffered or who else might have been involved.

“It’s still an ongoing investigation,” Deputy Chief Hearn said when questioned.