A Florida man allegedly beat his girlfriend’s 17-month old son earlier this year and then pawned off the woman’s valuables while she was at the hospital with the dying boy, PEOPLE confirms.
On Thursday, David Earl Vickers, 31, of Holmes Beach, Florida, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder and aggravated child abuse in the August death of his girlfriend’s son, Luca Sholey, Holmes Beach police Detective Sgt. Brian Hall tells PEOPLE.
Vickers is being held without bond at the Manatee County Jail in Florida. He was already in custody in an unrelated case when he was charged with murdering and abusing the child, says Hall.
It is unclear if Vickers has entered a plea to those charges or if he has retained an attorney who could comment on his behalf.
According to Hall, the murder and child abuse charges stem from an Aug. 21 incident, when Vickers called 911 because Luca was unresponsive and not breathing.
The child was rushed to Blake Medical Center in nearby Bradenton, Florida, and later airlifted to John Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Two days later, Luca was declared brain-dead from his injuries, Hall says. He died on Aug. 25.
A hospital examination showed the boy had “injuries that were consistent with child abuse,” according to a Holmes Beach police statement.
The police department and the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office launched a more than month-long investigation into the child’s death, revealing that Luca had allegedly been “physically abused while in Vickers’ care on several occasions,” Hall said in the statement.
On Aug. 21, Luca was again abused while he was being watched by Vickers, police suspect. This time, they believe it killed him.
The boy’s organs were donated and helped save the lives of two girls and one man, the Bradenton Herald reports.
Suspect Allegedly Stole from Boy’s Mom
Vickers faces more than homicide and abuse charges in connection with Luca’s Aug. 25 death, according to police.
Two days later, on Aug. 27, the boy’s mother reported that her car stereo and laptop were missing, Hall says.
He says that she allegedly “found out that he [Vickers] had pawned the car stereo, so she suspected that the laptop was pawned as well.”
She confronted Vickers “after finding a water bottle with the pawn shop logo on it in the car,” Hall says. Police were later able to locate and recover the items.
According to Hall, Vickers allegedly stole the stereo from Luca’s mom’s car on Aug. 21, before Luca was taken to the hospital, and pawned it for $30.
Two days later, while his girlfriend was at the hospital with her son, Vickers allegedly stole her laptop and charger and pawned them for $60.
On Aug. 30, Vickers was charged with grand theft, two counts of dealing in stolen property and two counts of obtaining money from a pawnbroker by fraud, Hall says. He pleaded not guilty to those charges.
Police had first arrested Vickers on Aug. 24, for driving without a license, Hall says. He was charged with possession of marijuana and driving with a revoked driver’s license, to which he has pleaded not guilty.
In May, Vickers was released from prison after serving almost three years in a four-year sentence for trafficking in stolen property and defrauding a pawnbroker, according to the Florida Department of Corrections.