CRAWFORD COUNTY, Ind. (WHAS11) – A man in Southern Indiana is accused of beating his stepfather to death with a baseball bat.
Crawford County deputies responded to a home on Church Street in Milltown, Ind. Saturday night after receiving a 911 call reporting that a man at the residence had been hit in the head with a baseball bat.
Officials said Larry McDonnell Jr., 41, died from blunt force trauma before officers arrived.
Investigators later determined the 911 caller and alleged attacker was 24-year-old Steven Broughton, the victim’s stepson. Broughton was arrested at the scene without incident and charged with murder. He is being held at the county jail.
Broughton’s mother, Rebecca McDonnell, defended her son Monday during an interview with WHAS11. She claimed Broughton was trying to protect her and his two young siblings from her abusive husband.
“Don’t judge him unless you have been in that situation,” she said. “I not only lost a husband but right now I’ve lost a son also.”
Ms. McDonnell said Broughton would often babysit his four- and five-year-old siblings and had a close bond with them.
“I love him so much and I will stand behind him 100 percent,” she said.
Deputies said domestic violence and verbal abuse likely contributed to the homicide, but noted that there were no records of officers previously responding to the home for such incidents. Broughton does not appear to have a criminal record.