Man Pleads Guilty to Child Abuse Charges

Staff Report
NewsWest 9

HOBBS, N.M. - An abrupt ending to a shocking case of child abuse out of Hobbs where a man accused of killing a toddler throws in the towel and pleads guilty to the crime.

It was day two of jury selection in the trial of 28-year old Christopher Elliot.

He was charged with abusing 21-month-old Braxtin Kuykendall to death.

According to Lea County prosecutors, they were going through their third round of jury selection when Elliot asked to speak to his lawyer.

After that, he changed his plea to guilty.

The move surprised the prosecution because there was no plea deal offered or on the table.

Elliot said he didn't want to put anyone through a trial.

Elliot was arrested back in May, along with his girlfriend Miranda Copeland, after police were called to a home on west Alston when Braxtin stopped breathing.

According to the police report, Braxtin had burns and bruises all over his body.

His three year old brother also suffered bruises.

Both Copeland and Elliot were arrested and charged.

He'll spend the rest of his life behind bars.

No trial date has been set yet for Copeland.