Toddler’s mother recounts abuse

By Bethany Knipp

The mother of 14-month-old Clayden Urbanek said she saw an increasing number of bruises on her son’s face and head prior to his death, which was allegedly caused by a severe beating from her boyfriend.

The Salina Journal reported that in a recording played Tuesday for the Riley County District Court jury in the first-degree murder and child abuse trial of Antonio Brown, Brittney Betzold, 21, told police she saw deep purple bruising on the boy’s buttocks and was “in shock.”

Brown, 29, of Salina is accused of beating Urbanek to death on Oct. 4, 2011.

Brown was ordered a change of venue after his case received intense media coverage in Saline County.

Betzold said in the recording that, “There were all these bruises. I would see a different one every day. I would ask (Brown) what happened. He would tell me an accident happened.”

Brown and Betzold lived together in Salina with Urbanek. Betzold said Brown frequently supervised the child.

When Salina police investigator Matthew Halton asked Betzold what thought about the bruises, Betzold said she “just wanted to make myself believe that they weren’t on purpose, so I didn’t question.”

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