Before a 24-year-old New Jersey man allegedly punched his girlfriend’s toddler son in the chest this weekend – killing him – police say he taunted the boy, urging him to put his fists up in defense.
Those powerful, fatal punches have now landed Zachary Tricoche behind bars on a single murder charge, PEOPLE confirms.
In a statement obtained by PEOPLE, Camden County Prosecutor Mary Eva Colalillo says that Tricoche was arraigned Tuesday on the charge. He is being held on $1 million bail.
The toddler, 2-year-old Jamil Baskerville Jr., died early Sunday morning, according to investigators.
Police allege that Tricoche and his girlfriend got into an argument on Saturday when she returned to their Pennsauken home from a trip to the grocery store without several of the food items he had requested.
Amid the couple’s altercation, Tricoche allegedly walked up to Jamil and punched him twice square in the chest. The force from the powerful strikes launched the child into nearby walls, according to police.
The boy’s mother called 911 after her son vomited before losing consciousness, authorities said. Jamil was taken to Cooper University Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
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Autopsy results showed the punches punctured his liver and he bled to death internally, authorities said. The official cause of death was blunt force trauma, they said.
Court records do not indicate whether Tricoche has retained an attorney. He has yet to enter a plea to the murder charge.