Family in disbelief over murder charge in death of toddler

by: Sarah Rosario Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

A judge denied bond for a Charlotte father now charged with killing his 2-year-old son.

Travis Pemberton turned himself in to police Monday.

Eyewitness News anchor Sarah Rosario talked to family members about what happened in the weeks leading up to his arrest.

Family members said Pemberton was visibly upset at his son's funeral two weeks ago. Today, they said they had no idea the toddler was killed until Monday and while they're heartbroken and shocked, Pemberton's wife is standing by his side.
 
“I want people to know that he is a good man,” said Tilneicia Williams, Permberton’s wife. 
 
It's been more than two weeks since investigators said they found Jakobi Morgan was unresponsive at a south Charlotte apartment.
 
The suspect's aunt said on the phone she can’t believe Pemberton would intentionally hurt his son
 
"I thought that he loved that baby more than he loved himself,” Elizabeth Pemberton said.
 
Investigators said the child was assaulted and suffered a broken spine.

Officers said when they questioned Pemberton Monday he confessed. 

Williams said she was with her husband when he spoke with police
 
"He said that he spanked him. Assaulting. I don't know anything about.” Williams said.
 
Family members aren't sure what to believe. 
 
The obituary online for the toddler said he died of an illness.
 
"We all thought it was an ailment, we just all thought the baby had a virus," Elizabeth Pemberton said.
 
The child's mother lives in Laurinburg.
 
Williams said the parents shared time with the boy.
 
She said she loved Jakobi like her own.
 
"I feel like lost a son and I'm losing my husband,” Williams said. “It's just so hard.”
 
When we tried to speak with Jakobi's biological mother on the phone, family members said she was too upset to speak.
 
"She can't even talk right now because she's in a state of shock,” Elizabeth Pemberton said.
 
A judge denied bond Tuesday on the murder charge and the bond for the felony child abuse charge is set at $100,000.
 
Pemberton will go before a judge again on March 17.

For previous coverage, click here.