Bond was set at $250,000, court records indicate.
The boy’s mother told police that the 24-year-old Powell picked up their child in mid-May, in an attempt to “get to know his son better,” according to court documents.
Tristan’s aunt, Prosha Land, told authorities that her brother took his young son to her Houston home during this time, which was when the alleged abuse occurred.
“Land related Tristan was not ‘potty trained’ and that defendant had disciplined Tristan for many ‘accidents’ beginning on May 10, 2015,” reads a probable cause document, which was typed in all-caps. “Land said that Anthony became increasingly upset over the lack of progress that they were showing in their ‘potty training.'”
Land told police she heard Powell complain and saw him hit Tristan after an “accident” in late May, the document says.
“She stated that during one of these strikes, the child fell from a standing position to his ‘bottom,'” the document reads. “She stated that she then saw Anthony pick up Tristan ‘like a rag doll’ and strike him so hard on the head with his hand that he was knocked over and his head struck the tile flooring in the bathroom of her apartment.
“Mrs. Land stated that when his head hit the tile flooring, it made a loud sound, which indicated to her that his head struck the tile in a very violent manner.”
Afterward, Tristan told Land that he was sleepy, and Land said he behaved differently.
Land “stated that she didn’t want Tristan to go to sleep because ‘she felt like he would never wake up.'”
Early in the morning of May 28, Land’s brother woke her and said his son wasn’t breathing. Tristan Powell was taken to a hospital, where he died the following day.
“The defendant’s attitude was fairly nonchalant,” said prosecutor Connie Spence, who detailed the case in a bond hearing, according to the CBS affiliate KHOU. “In fact, according to witnesses, he was counting his money as he was riding to the hospital in the ambulance.”
Land was also charged with injury to a child with serious bodily injury in connection to the death.