Oklahoma Dad Reacts After Son's Grandfather Arrested In Boy's Death


Wednesday, November 30th 2011, 11:12 pm
By: News 9


An Oklahoma man sits behind bars charged with murdering his two-year-old step-grandson.

Two-year-old Justin Netzel was from Holdenville, but was visiting his grandmother and step-grandfather, Darin Wheeler, in Earlsboro when he died in June.

Holding back tears, Phillip Netzel recalls the nightmare he says his six-year-old son, Joshua witnessed the murder of his baby brother Justin.

"He was beautiful.  He was a wonderful little boy. He loved everybody... Always laughing.  Always playing.  He was just a happy child," Netzel said.

According to court documents, Justin was lethargic after swimming, but the medical examiner's office says he died from a blow to the stomach, which his brother Joshua says he witnessed.

The six-year-old told police his brother woke up in the middle of the night throwing up on June 26th.

A police report noted, "Joshua said Darin was mad...and hollering. Joshua said Justin got a butt busting after that. Joshua went on to say Darin struck [Justin] on the hip."

"If he hurt my little boy I hope justice prevails and he gets he gets what he deserves," Netzel said.

Netzel says Justin's death has the torn the family apart. The last time he saw Wheeler was at Justin's funeral.

Justin's step-grandfather faces two drug possession charges and the murder charge. He is being held without bond.