A Jefferson Parish grand jury has indicted a Waggaman man for second-degree murder in connection with the April beating death of a 3-year-old boy he was caring for.

Victor L. Becnel, 36, of 628 Oleander Lane, was also charged with attempting to intimidate or injure a witness.

Deputies answering a 911 call at 3:45 p.m. March 18 went to the Oleander Lane house and found the child, Pierre Stewart, was not breathing. He was transported to West Jefferson Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Becnel, who had called 911, told investigators that he had turned his attention away from Pierre for a few moments while the child drank an Icee at the table. He said that when he looked back, the boy was lying face-down on the table.

He also said he saw the child fall from the table onto the floor before he called 911.

However, an autopsy found the child had in fact died of blunt force trauma and had a lacerated liver and several large contusions on his head.

The boy’s mother, Nelly Pena, told investigators that Becnel has an explosive temper and had beaten her. She said he had been rough with her son in the past, at one point slamming the child to the ground.

Becnel refused to answer questions during a second round of interrogation and asked for an attorney.

Bond was set at $950,000 and Becnel was ordered to home incarceration due to prison overcrowding, court records show.

The case was allotted to 24th Judicial District Court Judge Cornelius Regan.

Follow Chad Calder on Twitter @Chad_Calder