Friend of suspect: Toddler's tragic death should never have happ - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Friend of suspect: Toddler's tragic death should never have happened


FAIRDALE (WVVA) - A high school friend of the man who police say killed a two-year-old toddler says he was surprised by the weekend's tragic events.

"I could not believe it," said Michael Covey. He and murder suspect James Green attended Liberty High School together.

Covey said Green was an ordinary teen who like to hang out and play football.

"I grew up with (Green) most of my life, you know, went to school with him, hung out with him all the time. I just did not know what to think when I first heard about it."

Green was charged with first-degree murder in the death of his two-year-old stepson, Graydon Morgan, after the child died early Saturday morning at a Charleston hospital.

View's original report on the incident

Police said the child's life-ending injuries were consistent with being grabbed, squeezed, shaken and punched.

View the criminal complaint against Green

Police also said Green was a known drug addict.

"The kids should have been taken away a long time ago," Covey said. "They should have never been in that position to begin with."

Graydon's twin is now in the custody of Child Protective Services.

Green's wife, 27-year-old Brandy Smallwood, was also arrested and charged with child neglect resulting in death.


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