Cincere Hathaway sustained skull and rib fractures

By Chris Harris
October 15, 2020 11:14 AM
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Authorities in Tennessee have arrested a 33-year-old man, accusing him of beating his 2-year-old stepson to death, PEOPLE confirms.

According to a statement from the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, little Cincere Hathaway was found unconscious on Friday by his mother, who had left the child in the care of her husband for just a few hours.

When Cincere's mother returned home, she found the boy "in distress," and called 911.

Cincere died not long after first responders arrived on the scene.

On Tuesday, police arrested Cincere's stepfather, Rozelle Westmoreland.

He was first detained on an outstanding probation violation warrant, but Westmoreland has since been charged with Cincere's murder.

Westmoreland is being held without bond and is set to be arraigned this morning.

Rozelle Westmoreland
Metro Nashville Police Department

The police statement alleges that, during a subsequent interview with detectives, "Westmoreland admitted that the toddler's 'whining' angered him and resulted in numerous strikes to Cincere's head and body."

After the brutal beating, Westmoreland allegedly said that "he dressed the child, placed him in bed and left" the home.

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Authorities say Cincere suffered a pair of skull fractures and bleeding in the brain from the beating.

The child also sustained nine rib fractures.

Online records do not show attorney information for Westmoreland, and it was not immediately clear if he has entered a plea.