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Logan Pennsylvania Criminal News: Man faces murder trial for death of toddler

Pennsylvania Criminal News: A man was charged with child endangerment and first-degree murder for dousing a child in Drano crystals, resulting in his death.

05/12/2010 // West Palm Beach, FL, USA // Tara Monks // Tara Monks

Logan, PA – A 34-year-old Logan man will stand trial on murder charges for rubbing a 20-month-old boy with Drano crystals because he was “fussing and crying” during a bath, as reported by the Philadelphia Enquirer. The decision comes after a preliminary hearing decision that came on Tuesday, May 11, 2010.

Aaron Pace, of Logan, will face first-degree murder and child endangerment charges. First-degree murder charges were decided upon after gruesome autopsy pictures of the little boy, Suliaman Orrell Kirkland, were shown to the court. A prosecutor pointed out the severity of the baby’s wounds and the fact that Pace deliberately avoided burning himself.

The judge for the preliminary hearing agreed with the charges, stating that because Pace lied about the incident, the boy was not treated for chemical burns and suffered a slow and painful death over the span of five days.

Pace was reportedly close with the family and referred to Suliaman as his godson. He referred to the boy’s mother, Quintesha Kirkland, 27, as his sister.

An officer testified during the hearing that she visited the hospital after receiving reports of child assault on February 2. She reported the boy had burns covering his head and torso and was screaming in pain.

Pace had told authorities that the boy was burned from the bath water. Five days later, the boy was dead.

On February 7, Homicide Detective Jack Cummings confronted Pace about his story. The boy suffered no burns on his legs or buttocks, meaning the burns could not have been the result of scalding hot bath water.

Pace confessed in the end, admitting that he lost his temper over the boy’s crying. He admitted to putting Drano crystals on a washcloth and rubbing the boy until his skin began sloughing off.

According to reports, Pace told the detective that he was “patting him and telling him I didn’t mean to hurt him.”

Pace was arrested in 1996 for attempted rape. While those charges were dropped before he was convicted, court documents show that he was convicted of sexual assault as a juvenile.

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