Gatesville man charged with capital murder in brutal death and sexual assault of toddler

Posted at 5:48 PM, Jun 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-01 19:59:02-04

A man accused of beating and raping a child to death now faces capital murder charges.

Coryell County District Attorney Dusty Boyd upgraded the charges against Chet Shelton, 27, on Tuesday and said he will seek the death penalty.

Shelton was arrested on Jan. 13, 2016, for aggravated sexual assault of a child under the age of six. 

The night before, police were called to a Gatesville home to find 2-year-old Makai receiving CPR, but he later died at a local hospital.

Shelton told police he was watching his girlfriend's child while she was at work. He said he put Makai down for a nap and checked on him later, only to find that he was not breathing.

An autopsy later revealed Makai died from severe distinct trauma caused by sexual assault.

Shelton admitted to using methamphetamine 48 hours before the incident. 

The DA's office released the following statement after the jury returned with a capitol murder indictment Tuesday.

"We appreciate the patience and support by the community, but more especially by the family and friends of Makai for understanding that arriving at this juncture required a careful and thorough evaluation of all the evidence. No bigger decision can be made by a prosecutor's office, and no greater justice under the law can be sought for the death of the most vulnerable in our society."

Shelton has a history of sexual abuse. Back in 2007, he was charged with sexual abuse of a child but was never convicted because he plead guilty to the lesser charge of bodily assault of a child. 

Boyd said the investigation into the most recent incident is ongoing and he would not comment any further.

Shelton remains in the McLennan County jail on a $500,000 bond.

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