Judge rules Pittsboro child-murder case can go to trial

PITTSBORO, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Chatham County district judge on Monday ruled that there's sufficient evidence against a woman and her boyfriend to face a jury on charges of child abuse and murder.

Joselyn Upchurch, 28, and Ricky Adams, 29, are accused of killing Upchurch's 1-year-old son, DeAndre Cotton.

According to prosecutors, DeAndre was found dead in the couple's apartment on July 17, 2017. An autopsy concluded the child died from blunt force trauma to his chest and abdomen. The report also said DeAndre suffered from lacerations to his liver and bruises to his face and head.

"Darius Cotton, DeAndre's father, told ABC11 outside that courtroom that "it eases the pain" knowing the case is finally heading to trial.

"It's going to help my family out a lot. Hopefully, it gets us justice."

Attorneys for both suspects argued unsuccessfully that the evidence presented by prosecutors offered no proof that it was either Upchurch or Adams who physically attacked or killed the infant.

Still, with the burden of proof being much lower in a preliminary hearing, the defense teams will have another shot to raise reasonable doubt in front of a jury.
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