Downey man pleads not guilty in death of 6-year-old godson

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A Downey man pleaded not guilty Thursday to murder and assault charges stemming from the death of his 6-year-old godson the day after Christmas.

Tyler D’Shaun Martin Brand, 23, was charged Dec. 30 with one count each of murder and assault on a child causing death involving the boy, Dayvon Taylor.

Prosecutors said Brand had been caring for the boy for several days over the holiday break.

Brand allegedly beat the child severely at his Downey apartment, according to prosecutors. The boy died Dec. 26 at St. Mary Medical Center in Long Beach.

Police described Brand only as an acquaintance of Dayvon’s mother, but prosecutors said Brand was the boy’s godfather.

Brand was arrested Dec. 26 in connection with the boy’s death.

He is due back in a Norwalk courtroom March 24, when a date is scheduled to be set for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to allow the case against him to proceed to trial.

If convicted as charged, he could face up to 25 years to life in prison, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.