Death penalty sought for man accused charged in brutal death of Winston-Salem toddler

Charles Thomas Stacks, 30, of Winston-Salem, faces charges in connection to the death of 2-year-old Jaxson Swain.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A Winston-Salem man will face the possibility of the death penalty in connection with the death of a 2-year-old boy who prosecutors say had injuries so severe that he wouldn’t have been able to have talked or walked again if he had lived, a judge ruled Wednesday.

The Winston-Salem Journal reported that Charles Thomas Stacks, 31, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Jaxson Sonny Swaim, who died from head injuries on Aug. 19, 2015, at Brenner Children’s Hospital. A Rule 24 hearing was held in Forsyth Superior Court to determine if Forsyth County prosecutors can pursue the death penalty if Stacks is convicted.

Judge David Hall of Forsyth Superior Court granted the request.

Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Martin said in court that Jaxson Swaim had bruises and abrasions on every part of his body and had severe head injuries. Doctors who treated Jaxson determined that he had suffered an “acute and catastrophic” injury, Martin said.

Read full story: The Winston-Salem Journal