Michael Buchanan, 23, could spend the rest of his life in jail.
He is being held without bond.
It happened at a North Raleigh townhouse complex, where neighbors have set up a memorial on the front steps.
A makeshift memorial on the steps of a Raleigh apartment where a man is accused of child abuse and murder that led to the death of his girlfriend’s one-year-old boy. #ABC11 Details at 4 & 5 PM. Read more: https://t.co/S5QmjcK95h pic.twitter.com/nrWsGA8gCQ— Ed Crump (@EdCrumpABC11) February 18, 2019
According to court documents, the back of the 22-month-old's skull was fractured, causing a brain bleed.
Police were called Thursday by workers at WakeMed Children's Hospital to say child abuse was suspected.
The caller said the mother's boyfriend -- later identified as Buchanan -- was there with her and acting suspiciously.