Bond set for man accused in beating death of 2 year old

Jarred Rudder (Source: Jackson County Sheriff's Office)
Jarred Rudder (Source: Jackson County Sheriff's Office)
Michael Pulliam
Michael Pulliam

ELKVILLE, IL (KFVS) - A $1 million bond has been set for a man arrested after the death of a 2-year-old boy from Elkville.

Jarrod Rudder, 24, is charged with two counts of first degree murder, a Class X felony with extenuating terms due to a previous felony conviction on robbery up in Michigan.

He's also been charged with one count of aggravated battery, which is also a Class X felony punishable by the same sentencing guidelines as the 1st degree murder charge.

If found guilty, Rudder could be sentenced from 60-100 years in prison.

Michael Pulliam died Sunday night from serious injuries he allegedly received Friday night.

"I have alleged that the defendant without legal justification grabbed MIchael by the wrist. And swung him by the arm causing Michael to strike both a lamp and wall with his head," said Jackson County State's Attorney Michael Wepsiec. "Thereby causing the fatal injuries to Michael."

Police say Michael had been left in Rudder's care by his mother Amanda Howell on Friday night at her home in Elkville so that she could go to work at a De Soto business.

Pulliam had bleeding on the brain, several fractures, and multiple contusions. He was taken to Memorial Carbondale at 11:58 p.m. Friday. He was later airlifted to Children's Hospital in Saint Louis.

"Why would someone kill a little young angel. He hadn't done anything wrong," said Leola Winters godmother to Michael. "He took him from this earth. But he has no more suffering or trouble. Because he's in heaven with Jesus Christ. God rest his soul."

Rudder was arrested Sunday night. Rudder has been appointed a court attorney.  However, he does receive money from a lawsuit settlement against the State of Michigan, and if the court determines that he has enough financial resources, then he will have to hire his own attorney.

He is due back in court at 9 a.m. on May 17 for a preliminary hearing.

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