Coroner's Office to present autopsy findings in boy's death _lowres

Vernell Day

The state Supreme Court has let stand a Baton Rouge man's second-degree murder conviction and life prison sentence in the 2014 beating death of his 5-year-old son.

Vernell Day, 41, was found guilty in 2017 in the killing of Jav'v'une Bergin, who died Aug. 20, 2014, just months after Day took custody of the boy.

Jay'v'une's sister testified at Day's trial that her father got angry with her little brother for giving him a disrespectful look while kneeling on the floor as punishment. Day held the boy upside down by the ankles and swung him from side to side, causing his head to strike the wall, door and floor, she said.

Day told a jury his son's death was an accident and occurred when he was playing a game of "helicopter" with Jay'v'une, swinging him around. Day said he lost his grip on the boy and his head slammed into a wall and door.

Jay'v'une died from blunt force trauma to the head, but coroner's officials also found bruises and abrasions all over his body, damage to the optic nerves in both eyes and a separation of the neck vertebrae.

His death was ruled a homicide. Doctors testified he was malnourished and extremely thin for his age.

The Supreme Court denied Day's appeal Monday.

Follow Joe Gyan Jr. on Twitter, @JoeGyanJr.