The man accused of killing a 4-year-old Amityville boy told detectives he punched the child twice in the abdomen because he wouldn't take a nap, authorities said Saturday.
Jonathan Thompson, 31, had been baby-sitting the boy in their home at the time of the attack Wednesday, Suffolk County prosecutors said in court documents.
In an oral statement, Thompson said the boy, Adonis Reed, "made him angry because he would not take a nap, so the defendant punched [the child] two times," according to the documents.
Prosecutor Raphael Pearl said the blows caused multiple lacerations to the boy's liver.
Suffolk police arrested Thompson without incident in Brooklyn on Friday night, assisted by the U.S. Marshals Service.
"They found him under the bed," said Lenny DePaul, commander of the marshals' regional task force. "He tried to play hide-and-go-seek, but didn't do too well."
Thompson pleaded not guilty Saturday morning to second-degree murder through his attorney and was ordered to be held without bail.
Prosecutors said Thompson has convictions for grand larceny, robbery and identity theft.
More than two dozen relatives and friends of Adonis attended the arraignment at First District Court in Central Islip. They left the courtroom chanting "baby killer."
Outside, Lashon Reed called her slain nephew "a wonderful joy, a God-given gift."
"We cherished him," she said.
Thompson lives at 89 Ketcham Ave., where the 4-year-old was found Wednesday after a 911 caller told police a boy needed medical attention. A woman who rents an apartment in the house discovered the boy, alone and unconscious on a couch.
Adonis was brought to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead a couple of hours later.
The killing prompted county authorities Thursday to take custody of the boy's 6-year-old sister from their mother, Kiara Daniels, 21, of Wyandanch.
Both children had been living with their godmother, Lakisha Pitt, 32, and her live-in boyfriend, Thompson, authorities said.
Another aunt, Sonya Pitt of North Amityville, said the family didn't know that Thompson had a criminal record. She said Adonis had been living with his godmother since the middle of summer.
Joseph Hanshe of Sayville, Thompson's attorney, said Thompson told him he holds an associate degree in computer forensics from ITT Technical Institute but was recently unemployed.
Saturday, Mary Hutley, 70, dropped off a teddy bear and sympathy card at a makeshift memorial on the front steps of the Ketcham Avenue home.
"I'm concerned for the little boy's soul and for the family, to have to go through something like this," said Hutley, a home health aide and adoptive mother of eight.
Hutley said she was outraged that Thompson allegedly fled after beating Adonis.
"Why would you leave him alone, even if you could have gotten in trouble?" she said.
Speaking Saturday at a breakfast celebrating the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in Amityville, Suffolk Legis. DuWayne Gregory, who represents the village, cited the senseless bloodshed in Newtown, Conn., and the Amityville killing.
"Everyone is outraged and saddened by the loss of this young child," he said.
With Nicholas Spangler,
Kevin Deutsch and Igor Kossov