A court heard how Jamil ‘JB’ Baskerville Jr was present when his mum’s partner, Zachary Tricoche, 24, started arguing with her about her food purchases.
The two-year-old became upset and ‘stepped in to intervene’ after Tricoche allegedly shoved the woman at a home in New Jersey, US., NBC reports.
This enraged Tricoche, who punched the youngster so hard in the chest that he fell onto a wall and struck his head, prosecutors said.
When JB got back up, the boyfriend then allegedly told the tot to ‘put up his hands’ to fight like a grown man before punching him a second time.
He tragically bled to death after his tiny liver was crushed, a medical examiner ruled.
Tricoche, from Pennsauken, has been arraigned on first-degree murder charges following JB’s death on the night of August 20.
He did not enter a plea and his bail was set at $1million cash .
Tricoche started arguing with JB’s mum after he became upset because she had bought the ‘wrong’ groceries, a probable cause affidavit states.