Lauderdale County authorities announced the arrest of 24-year-old Justin Archie Clearman. he's charged with causing the death of Landon Tanner. The child died of blunt force trauma to his head after an incident that happened almost two weeks ago.
The sheriff's department held a news conference Tuesday afternoon and it was tense.
Families of both the victim and the suspect were there to hear the charges and details of the crime.
Clearman's family says the child fell and there is no way their loved one is responsible for this death.
"No way would he hurt a fly, much less a child," said Clearman's aunt, Ann Robinson. "He's grieving the child, too. He can't grieve the child for all of these accusations."
The victim's family says it wants to see justice.
"We all miss him. He would run in that back door hollering 'mamaw!'," said Evelyn Duval, Landon's great-grandmother.
Clearman's bond was set at $500,000, but then reduced by a judge to $250,000. Since his arrest, Clearman has posted bond and is out of jail.
This is certainly not what many people would have expected of Clearman when he was growing up. He graduated from Southeast Lauderdale High School in 2004, where he was voted 'Most Likely to Succeed' and 'Most Handsome'.
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