Mom of dead toddler facing child sex crimes asks to be released for son's funeral

Boyfriend arrested, charged Monday in relation to boy's death

By Irisha Jones - Reporter

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. - The mother of a 2-year-old boy who died Sunday faced a Montgomery County judge today.

Kayla Nicole Thomas was arrested and charged with making child porn and sexually assaulting children. Her live-in boyfriend was arrested Monday and charged in connection to the child's death.

Thursday was Thomas’ first court hearing.

After the judged advised her of the five felony charges against her, Thomas asked the judge if she could be let out of jail to attend her son's funeral.

The judge told her he could not decide that Thursday and that she would need to have a bond hearing before he can make that decision.

No cameras were allowed in court Thursday, but the 25-year-old was crying while wearing an orange jumpsuit, her hands shackled while standing before the judge.

Christiansburg police say she is the mother of the 2-year-old boy who died on Sunday after being found unresponsive Friday evening.

Police also say the investigation into the death revealed a history of abuse, both physical and sexual.

McKenzie Hellman, 25, was arrested in connection to the child's death. He is not related to the toddler.

Police aren't releasing the child's name, but he was referred to as 'S.M.' in court. 

Thomas will be back in court Feb. 28.

We also know police are expected to have a news conference on the investigation tomorrow morning.

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