Neighbor says father accused of beating son to death usually kept to himself, boy rarely seen

Neighbor says father accused of beating son to death usually kept to himself, boy rarely seen
Ja'v'une Bergin (Source: gofundme.com page)
Ja'v'une Bergin (Source: gofundme.com page)
Investigators believe the 5-year-old boy was savagely beaten at this home on North 48th Street. (Source: WAFB)
Investigators believe the 5-year-old boy was savagely beaten at this home on North 48th Street. (Source: WAFB)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A man who lives in the neighborhood of the father arrested in the beating death of his 5-year-old son said the dad was quiet and the child was rarely seen.

Varnell Day Jr., 36, of Baton Rouge, was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on Thursday morning on a charge of first-degree murder in the death of his son, Jay'v'une Bergin. Day was speechless and visibly angry as he was being taken back to prison. He is accused of savagely beating his son. The little boy died shortly after 10 p.m. Wednesday.

The blinds are all closed with newspaper keeping the sun out and a private property sign is propped in the window of the home on North 48th Street where the pair lived. It is the place where investigators said the beating took place.

"The little boy had multiple brain bleeds, bruising, which consisted of various stages of healing, along with contusions to the head with signs of malnutrition," Cpl. Don Coppola Jr. with the Baton Rouge Police Department said.

Neighbors said they saw an ambulance arrive at the home on Monday. The 5-year-old was taken to the hospital with multiple injuries. John Green, a neighbor who has lived one block off Gus Young Avenue all his life, said Day usually kept to himself and they rarely saw the little boy.

"The kid don't be outside enough," Green said. "Like we will be out here, he will take them to school and pick him up. After that, they would be inside."

Green added Day had only been at the home for the past couple of years and he simply saw him in passing.

"I couldn't really believe he would beat a child like that. I don't see how you can have a heart to beat a child so bad like that," Green explained.

Day was originally arrested Tuesday and charged with attempted first-degree murder, but the charges were upgraded and he was re-arrested after the boy succumbed to his injuries.

The Louisiana Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) was reportedly called in on this case, but there has been no response from officials about requests for comment.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help with funeral expenses for Bergin. Click here to donate

Copyright 2014 WAFB. All rights reserved.