Friends and family insist that Shalondre Adams couldn’t have killed 1-year-old Dominick Smith.

As KATU News reported, 13-month-old Dominick was found injured and unconscious on Thursday. Emergency crews tried to save the baby, but it was too late. The next day, the medical examiner determined that Dominick had died from a traumatic brain injury.

Screenshot/KPTV News

Two days after the tragedy, police charged 21-year-old Adams with murder. Adams is the boyfriend of Judith Smith, Dominick’s mother. Though he was not Dominick’s biological father, Adams’s friends and family say he couldn’t have hurt the boy.

Tae Spencer, Adams’s brother, told KATU News that Adams had been inconsolable the day after Dominick’s death, adding:

“He took him in so why would he do something like that? It don’t even make no sense. He loved him like his own. Unconditional.”

Cousin Tre Moore told KATU:

“It’s not his character to do something like that. That’s weird. They had matching shoes, matching outfits … that was his little guy.”

Even Dominick’s mother insists that Adams must be innocent. On Sunday, Judith wrote on Facebook:

I know for a fact my man is innocent. He fell in love with my son the first day he met him. All he wanted to do was teach him how to be the f**king best! (Even tho he already is.) My son was rocking with Shalondre so tough that sh*t made me jealous.

Despite the support for Adams, there is at least one family member who has her doubts. Dominick’s great-aunt, Lurdes Rolon Sandoval, says Judith gave her legal guardianship of the toddler last month. Dominick stayed with his great-aunt on weekends and whenever Sandoval wasn’t working.

Sandoval told KPTV News that even before Dominick’s murder, she was worried about the environment in Judith’s and Adams’s home:

“I worried about them financially. I worried about the people they hung out with.”

She added that she’s not convinced by the claims that Adams must be innocent because of his bond with Dominick:

“I know it’s being said that he felt very paternal towards Dominick and that he treated him as a son. The only thing I could think of was he’s not a father to that child because no father would do that.”

According to KGW News, Adams has been involved with domestic violence in the past. In April, he was arrested for criminal mischief, menacing, and domestic violence assault. He is currently being held without bail on a charge of first-degree murder by assault.

Sandoval says her main concern is for Dominick’s killer to be brought to justice. She told KPTV that she hopes anyone (including her niece) who knows what happened will come forward and tell the truth.

“The person who did this needs to be held accountable for their actions.”

Watch the video below, via KPTV.

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