Man Charged with Murder Following Staged Hit-and-Run of Child

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STOVER, Mo. — A Morgan County man is accused of staging a hit-and-run accident to cover up the alleged beating death of a three-year-old boy.

Thomas J. Presley, 21, of Stover, reported that his girlfriend’s son had been struck by a car on Highway 135 near Buttons Road in Morgan County. The boy was taken by ambulance to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

According to police, based on inconsistencies at the scene, statements of Thomas Presley and the violent trauma to the head and torso of the little boy, Presley was further questioned by law enforcement.

Police say that Presley staged the hit and run to cover up an assault on the boy at Presley’s home.

Presley is now in custody in the Morgan County Jail pending formal second-degree murder charges.

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