EL CAMPO, Texas (AP) — A man accused of fatally shooting his 1-year-old son and critically injuring another boy in a South Texas motel was charged Wednesday with capital murder and assault.
Demond Bluntson, 36, could face yet more charges in El Campo, some 200 miles away, where police believe he killed his girlfriend — the boys' mother — and dumped her body at a property in El Campo where his father lives.
Bluntson was also charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon against a public servant and one count of aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury, Laredo police spokesman Joe Baeza said in a statement. He was being held without bond.
Investigators searching for a motive have been stymied by Bluntson's refusal to talk, El Campo police Chief Terry Stanphill said Wednesday.
Police say Bluntson shot and killed his 21-month-old son Davian and shot and wounded 6-year-old Jaydin in a Laredo hotel room Tuesday. Jaydin was on life support at a San Antonio hospital Wednesday, Baeza said.
Stanphill confirmed that a body found Tuesday was 28-year-old Brandy Cerny, Bluntson's girlfriend, and said a preliminary autopsy report cited multiple gunshot wounds as the suspected cause of death.
"The family has mentioned to us that they've had an on and off relationship, their ups and downs and some tough times," Stanphill said. He said his investigator was on his way to Laredo on Tuesday but turned around when police there said Bluntson was refusing to talk.
A neighbor found Cerny's body in a green shack hidden among trees behind a small house and a mobile home on a property where Bluntson's father lives.
Becky Ivy, a legal assistant in the Wharton County district attorney's office, said an investigation into Cerny's death was ongoing and that there would be no immediate comment on possible charges.
Pastor Bonny Hargrove, 47, who lives across the street from Bluntson's father, said she last saw Bluntson about two weeks ago. She expressed surprise at the turn of events.
"He had his head on straight. He was staying out of trouble. He seemed to be upbeat. He was a person who was determined, wanted to work and take care of his family. I can't believe this happened," said Hargrove, who added that she's lived in the neighborhood for six years and would see and talk with Bluntson and his father every so often.
"To hear him talk about his family and then to hear about this, it's still unbelievable. It's a horrible thing," she said.
Hargrove said that she'd heard that Bluntson and Cerny had been having problems and were no longer living together.
Cerny was last seen with her sons at church in El Campo on Sunday. Her father reported her missing Monday morning and investigators traced a lead to Laredo.
Baeza said police went to the hotel about midday Tuesday after receiving a call from El Campo police, saying the family might be in trouble.
The desk clerk directed officers to a room on the 14th floor, where they knocked, identified themselves as police and immediately heard several shots, Baeza said. One shot came through the room door and narrowly missed two officers, he said.
Police cleared the building, which was packed with people attending a convention, then entered the room and arrested Bluntson.
The toddler was declared dead at the scene, while his 6-year-old brother was hospitalized in critical condition.