Southside toddler's family opens up about his memory & tragic de - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Southside toddler's family opens up about tragic death

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

The Southside family of the toddler whom police say was beaten to death, is preparing to lay him to rest Wednesday. O'ustin Spratley's family honored his memory during a vigil, Tuesday night. The man Spratley's mother was dating, Kevin Webb, is charged with malicious wounding and felony child abuse, in the two-year-old boy's death.

O'ustin's mother, Ollie Ellis, writes in an email:

"My heart is heavy and saddened.  My son was a great son, and brother. My ‘chocolate bunny' was a beautiful creation from God. God gave me one of three beautiful gifts… just so happens it was O'ustin's life that was short lived. He's in a greater presence now, in which I'd love to be in one day.  His memory and presence will always be with his loved ones."

Ellis could barely lift her head, as loved ones spoke and sung words of comfort outside her home. Elli's only boy, whom she nicknamed her chocolate bunny, will never feel her embrace again.

"What could drive such a person, and render in their heart, to be so evil that you would strike a child down," said Reverend Jerome Smith, Spratley's great uncle.
 
A family member says Spratley was viciously struck down after a potty training accident. The relative says the mother's boyfriend, Kevin Webb, sent Spratley's older sister outside. His six-month-old sister was still in the apartment. The family member says Spratley was beaten in the bathtub, suffering lethal blows to his stomach and head. Police say more charges against Webb are pending.

"He did not deserve to go the way he did," said Antonia Smith, Spratley's aunt.

The tiny boy's grandfather, George Row, wants retribution. "He deserves any kind of punishment he gets... whether it be in the jailhouse, when they release him... To me, he deserves just what he gets," said Row.

Smith says Spratley's sweet, playful nature will never be forgotten. "He was intelligent for someone of his age."

Smith also says their family will somehow endure the devastation. "I'm going to help my sister get through this. We all are… I would like the Commonwealth to take full justice."
    
Funeral services for Spratley will be held Wednesday at 11 a.m. at Jenkins Jr. Funeral Home.

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