Elkville man found guilty of killing 2-year-old boy

JACKSON COUNTY — A 27-year-old Elkville man has been found guilty of the 2012 death of a 2-year-old child.

A Jackson County jury deliberated for two hours Monday before convicting Jarrod Rudder of first degree murder in the death of his then girlfriend’s toddler son Michael Pulliam.

Evidence presented at trial showed Rudder swung 2-year-old Michael Pulliam by the arm and the child’s head hit a lamp and then a wall back in 2012, causing fatal injuries to the toddler. An autopsy determined the boy died from a brain injury after being airlifted to a hospital.

The case saw numerous delays before finally going to trial earlier this month.

Rudder will return to court in August for sentencing, where Rudder faces up to 60 years in prison on the murder charge..

The Southern Illinoisan reports that Rudder told police that the toddler’s death was an accident, but he admitted to throwing Pulliam into a wall. Rudder also said that the child hit his head after falling on the bathroom floor.

Doctors told investigators that Pulliam’s injuries were consistent with abuse.