Toddler's family talks about his fatal beating

The man accused of beating two year old Michael Pulliam to death, could be sitting behind bars for many years to come. If he is found guilty of First Degree Murder and Aggravated Battery.

24-year-old Jerrod Rudder appeared before a Jackson County judge on Tuesday afternoon. The prosecution asked the judge to set Rudder's bond at $2.5-million. The judge set bond at $1-million and due to extenuating terms of sentencing if Rudder is found guilty of killing Michael Pulliam he could be sentenced from 60 to 100 years in prison.

Michael's Uncle Ronnie Pulliam Jr. is having a difficult time dealing with his nephew's death.

"I just couldn't believe it happened. He didn't deserve what he got. No one should treat a baby like that," said Pulliam.

Police allege that Rudder grabbed little Michael by the arm and swung him through the air, crashing his head into a lamp and the wall.

"What did Michael do to deserve to be slammed into a lamp and the wall. There's nothing that baby could have done. I mean what, ask for another cup of milk? Want to play?"

But, there will be no more playing with his nephew now. Michael Pulliam died on Sunday evening at a Saint Louis hospital from bleeding on the brain, numerous bones fractured and multiple bruises.

Michael's Uncle says he'd have this to say to Rudder if he could.

"I'd look him in the eyes and just see if he he's got any remorse or anything. You know even see if he feels sorry for what he did. But I don't think he would," said Pulliam.

The last time any of Michael's family saw him alive was on the fatal Friday morning at his grandparents home in Williamson County.

Now his tractor sits idle in his grandparents yard. And all they have are their pictures and memories of a little blond haired two year old boy who was full of life.

"When he saw me he'd call me junior, junior and he'd always want to go outside and ride on the tractor and play with the chickens. He was just full of life and full of energy. And now not no more, the guy took that from him, took that from all of us."

Funeral arrangements for Michael are pending at this time. There will be a candlelight vigil for Michael Pulliam on Wednesday evening at 7:30 p.m. in the Hurst City Park.

Rudder is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in Jackson County on May 17th at 9 a.m.

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