Grandfather speaks out about slain grandson

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - "My daughter was afraid of him," says Ed Chermak.

Chermak says his daughter never felt safe around her former husband--Jonathan Katan.

It's one reason the two divorced in 2008.

"He had said that if she didn't allow him to have at least one of the children that he would try to take his own life," says Chermak.

But instead of his own life Montgomery Police charged Katan with capital murder in the death of their 2-year old son--Preston.

Officers say they found the boy in his bed.

Katan claimed he got stuck between the mattress and bumper guard.

An autopsy later revealed the boy died from blunt force injuries to the head.

Chermak says when news came of the arrest, "I don't believe there's any words that can actually explain what the feelings were at that particular time. As much as I hate to say it, I thought he was in a better place than standing in front of us at that time."

Montgomery Police say there is a history of domestic violence between Katan and his former wife.

Now the family's left to deal with a violent act and a loss that's especially hard for Preston's sister.

"All she could say is my brother died."

Katan is in the Montgomery County Detention Facility where he's being held without bond.

"I only pray that he'll understand that once he's inside of prison, it's only unknowing what could happen to him there," says Chermak.

Chermak says attorneys have already informed him the charge could receive the death penalty. But he isn't taking a stand on whether that's right or wrong, but to say he believes the legal system will bring Katan to justice. For now, he's just praying for his daughter and her family.

Police say they still don't know the motive for the crime.

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