Man charged with first degree murder of one boy, intentionally abusing and injuring his twin brother

By Dave Andrusko

Robert Middleton is on trial this week, charged with first degree murder in the death of one of his twin sons and of intentionally abusing and injuring his twin. Both boys were founded to have a fractured skull. Davale Middleton survived. Deville Middleton did not.

Takaylia Young testified that less than a year into their relationship she became pregnant for the first time. She said that Middleton “said he wasn’t ready to have another child,” according to reporter Kara Fohner .

Middleton already had a daughter from another relationship.

“She agreed to terminate the pregnancy, and Middleton paid for it.”

She became pregnant a second time in 2019, this time with twins. “I was shocked at first, but I was really excited about having two babies,” she said.” Fohner wrote

When she told Middleton about the twins in a phone conversation, he hung up on her, and when the two eventually talked about it again, “we argued a lot about keeping the boys.”

But Young was determined to have her babies.

Her pregnancy was considered high risk. “Young had complications with the pregnancy and stayed in the hospital for a month in the summer, during the height of COVID-19,” Ken Lemon reported.

Deville andDavalehad to stay in the hospital for weeks after delivery, according to Lemon.

Assistant District Attorney Debbie Gulledge told jurors that the babies were only home for 11 days before Deville began having trouble breastfeeding. One weekend, the boys stayed alone with Middelton, and Deville “seemed off” after that, and his sleep schedule changed, Gulledge said in court.

Young took Deville to an eye doctor appointment, and from there he was taken to the hospital, where he was found to have a skull fracture and bleeding in his brain. 

Devale was then taken to the hospital, and he was found to have similar injuries. He survived, but Deville did not. …

Prosecutors said Middleton claimed he bumped into a door while walking with his son.

A medical examiner said that couldn’t have caused the wounds.

“It certainly doesn’t happen from simple falls or none of us would have made it past the age of two or three years old,” said Dr. Thomas Owens.