Boyfriend Facing Involuntary Manslaughter Charges for Toddler Death

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JERSEY SHORE -- A man is facing involuntary manslaughter charges after a child died in Lycoming County.

Troopers say the boyfriend of the child's mother slammed the 18-month-old child head first onto the floor while the two were wrestling.

Court papers in Lycoming County say the man was carrying out a professional wrestling move with the child called "The Last Ride," but instead of slamming him on the bed, police say he missed and the boy hit the hardwood floor.

He died from injuries to his head.

Friends and neighbors say the man and little boy were playing around and the child's death was a horrible accident.

Troopers say Brandon Hoffman, 20, was, "recklessly wrestling playing" with his girlfriend's 18-month-old child when he slammed the child onto the floor. He now faces charges including involuntary manslaughter.

It all happened Tuesday at the apartment in Jersey Shore that they share with Hoffman's sister and her boyfriend Lonnie Stewart.

Stewart was home, but not in the same room when the child was hurt.

"He came to me like, 'I don't know what happened. I dropped him.' He was like real hysterical and everything," said the suspect's roommate Lonnie Stewart.

Hoffman told troopers he was looking after the child while the toddler's mother was at work.

"He was trying to resuscitate him, give him mouth to mouth and that's when I was first like, something is wrong."

Stewart drove Hoffman and the child to Jersey Shore Hospital. The child was then taken to Geisinger near Danville where he died.

Neighbors like Joanne Johnston are heartbroken.

"They are little, you know. Their bones are softer. They are little. You can't be doing that kind of stuff," Johnston said.

Hoffman's friends and family say he would never hurt the child intentionally. That's why they are calling the toddler's death a horrible accident.

"I'm thinking this is a dream and I want to wake up."

The past 24 hours have been a whirlwind for Hoffman's sister Angelina who says she's been there to comfort the child's mother.

"I even asked her like, I was like, 'Don't just lie to me because I'm his sister. Do you believe it was an accident?' She said, 'I do.' She said, 'I don't think he would do this on purpose. I know he wouldn't,'" Angelina Hoffman said.

An account has been set up to help with the child's funeral expenses. Click here for more information.

World Wrestling Entertainment released a statement Thursday.


  • EYE 4 EYE

    He should be given “the last ride” on a concrete slab then if he is still alive slit his j u g u l a r no good white trash! Bless this little angel now that his want to be dad has murdered him lord

  • Lonnie Stewart

    Let me say one thing , he must pay for his irresponsible behavior and whether that means jail time so be it. I’m sure there are a lot of people on death row who are remorseful for what they did. I’m sure there are a lot of people who killed people while driving under the influence who are very remorseful but to say this was just an accident let it go forget it. All them others were just accidents to but guess what they were just as this punk was able to make that decision. So hopefully the only thing that gets slammed next is this loser named Brandon ! I hope they cut him ear to ear in prison for his childish behavior!

  • Ignorance is no excuse

    He should be charged with manslaughter just as a drunk driver making a bad choice kills someone they get charged this is no difference. At 20 years old this so called man should be more disciplined to know not to be throwing a baby like that! Murder is murder whether by a drunk or by a complete m o r o n so get it on already and give him 10 years with some men who will show him some wrestling moves!

  • Karen

    I am so disgusted about how some people talk about this not being an accident. It is terrible that a child has died, and my heart goes out to that mother, but being a mother myself I know and others do that we can all have accidents, accidents happen. I am sure that this man was not playing rough, or actually playing as rough as people or the news media are making out to be. (slamming him on the floor) God forbid, even the WWE is trying to make him sound like a murderer. Parents, what did you do with your children when they were young, that might have caused an accident? I believe everyone who had children have had one bad experience that could have, but didn’t result in an accident happening. It might not have been wrestling on the floor or being thrown on a bed, but bringing up children can result in accidents. How many times has a husband thrown his child in the air, or hit him in the head when throwing a football to him. Don’t make a judgement on others, unless you are a perfect parent and your children never had an accident. Please, Let God be the judge,, This man is very remorseful for what happened. People on here have him convicted as a terrible person who murdered a child and they don’t even know him.

  • Idiot detector

    Your right it’s no different then a drunk driver missing a turn in the road or using bad judgement to get behind the wheel . I hope this 20 year old gets plenty of time to think about what he did.

  • Jim

    My heart goes out to both of them. Look, people make stupid choices. Everyone tearing this guy up, it’s pathetic. He looks like a kid. He wasnt using good judgement. No one here made stupid choices? Yeah this is a horrible accident but it was just that an Accident. Why is this kid charged with Inv. Manslaughter, when the 2 parents who got doped up and smothered their kid in bed get a slap on the wrist?

    • raymond hoffman

      I so agree with you jim brandon Hoffman isn’t a bad guy I know all people do is going to bash him cause they have no life… but I also think its not good the they charge him but not those two drug heads that killed there baby don’t you guys think that would be worse than yall bashing brandon

  • Chris

    My heart goes out to the mother. I have a 4 year old and can’t imagine what she’s going through. I believe it was a accident, but with saying that shouldn’t wrestle with a child like that. I “wrestle” with my child but gently. I don’t slam her or throw her. God bless the little angel.

  • raymond hoffman

    Ok yall say brandon Hoffman is a bad person well news flash he’s not he was a father to bryson…. he loved bryson as his own…. The first day he met that boy he fell in love with him…

    • yep

      Well, then you and i have a different definition of love. Love is NOT using wrestling moves on your toddler. That actually called being stupid and possibly even abuse. No wonder your, what his brother maybe, you both think alike. You should get a mental health exam, QUICK.

  • Ashlie Mabry

    As a mother of a 17 nonth old child i can tell you there should be no wrestling moves done to a child that fragile and small…. thus guy will have to live with himself for the rest if his life but there are consequences for immature actions. The mother is the one my heart goes out to. Not a very happy mother’s day for her and she as well will have to live with this FOREVER. If she is a mother that values being one it is going to do things to her nobody can ever imagine. Poor lil baby. I never comment on these things but this crushed me! Another innocent life lost so sad.

    • tiredofdeviants

      I have to agree with you and I don’t get wherein anyone thinks in any way, shape, or form this as acceptable and normal play. It’s just stupid, uncalled for and downright weird.

  • robert gee

    this was a horrible accident . i know the family and he wouldn’t hurt a fly. and he also works full time. people talk too much before they know . he will live the rest of his life with this and none of you know what its like . think before you talk

    • sorrynotsorry

      At least he gets to live, does that poor baby get to live? There is no reason to do professional wrestling moves with a toddler. None. He’s an idiot and should be charged with more than involuntary manslaughter.

  • Mace Ventura

    So true, these tools think they are getting back at the father somehow by injuring the innocent child? Wishing much payback down the road. Usually the situation is the mother and her boyfriend with these abuse cases, not the dad and his girlfriend. Hey moms, when you beat your kid or deny them common respect, others will feel they can do the same. Not saying it happened here but moms can be welcoming this behavior into their own home.

    • yep

      Seriously though, 18 months old, so sad. Their so little and like to be thrown in the air. We’re the adults though and they trust us. Have common sense and good judgement.

  • License Parenthood

    Just the picture of this stupid idiot tells me volumes. Another d***head with the brain power of a goat. Probably sits around all day drinking 2 liter bottles of soda playing video games.

    • Karen

      This guy you talk about is a decent person, he is not a d-head like you suggest, he works a full time job, is considerate of others, he would never hurt anyone intentionally

  • Jared

    How many times must we hear of cases of the boyfriend causing harm to the child? In many situations these guys have no emotional attachment to the child but rather see the child as competition for the girlfriend’s attention. Wake up girls!

    • John Strickland

      I refuse to date any woman with children. Not my children = not my problem. I want a family that is all of my own. I hope more people wake up and see this is the way it should be.

      • jbink

        So single mom’s should stay single forever? This is a horrible thing that happened but you can’t put blame on every guy that dates someone that has a child.

      • jackie

        Oh, so because my ex cheated on me, I should be punished by all men in the world? You are an idiot, please don’t ever have children. If you do, you might have a daughter who could grow up to be a single mother.

      • SoDone

        That’s your prerogative, and if one is young enough that would be preferable for me too, however, two things; one, there’s no excuse for an “accident” such as this…this guy is just stupid. Number two, the older you get, the harder it is to find someone without kids on either side of a couple.
        I wonder how long this girl has been with this guy?

      • raise your standards

        John Strickland, You are so correct. Im a gal, and I REFUSED to date anyone with previous kids, I didn’t want my weekends and holidays stuck baby sitting someone elses kid. I got a GREAT guy with standards and WE have a life, a life of OUR OWN! I wish more people used their brains, instead of their…well you know. It is nice to see another with standards for themselves. Good guideline, check the back seat of their car, if it has kid seat marks in the material…RUN..they hid the kid seat at home for the date.

      • E

        I completely agree with you John. After having lived in the coal region for several years I’ve met many single mothers, especially from Scranton, whom act like disgusting human beings with every breath. I would never give a single mother a chance after living in NEPA. Lol. The responses to John’s comment are not surprising considering that the coal region imports, among other groups, battered women to fill the many abuse shelters in that area. That is one reason why there’s an abnormally high amount of single mothers in the coal region. Just one more in a long list of reasons why I moved away from the coal region permanently. Too many damaged , aggressive people who assume everyone like them has baggage. Lol.

    • Bren

      The ignorant remarks about single mothers are ridiculous. There are good and bad mothers, single and married. There are just as many good and bad fathers, single and married. To criticize all single mothers as a group is as narrow minded as it would be to criticize all black people, or all Christians, or all men for that matter. A lot of single mothers are not single by choice, but rather because the immature, self-centerd fathers of their kids decided that taking care of a baby or child was not nearly as much fun as making it was mommy pregnant in the first place. When more men grow up and take responsibility for their kids, fewer women will be single mothers. Clearly, even if this guy “loved” the baby, he was NOT mature enough, sensible enough, or wise enough to be in charge of one. His girlfriend would still have her child if she chose to remain single rather than pinning her hopes on and entrusting her child to an immature man-boy. Is he an evil child killer? It seems like the answer is no. Is he an assclown who lacks basic common sense? Hell yes!

  • guess who!!

    My daughter is 15 months old and I wrestle with her on the bed all the time. I don’t body slam her just a gentle flop of her height in to the bed. I feel so bad for him if this was indeed a accident. If its not he need to rot in jail or give him some concrete slippers.

  • SoDone

    You don’t wrestle with an 18 month old. What an idiot. Now a baby Is dead and people still wanna stick up for stupidity and no one ever cares about the kids, just the losers who kill them.

    • Thomas Daniels

      Well I do play with my twin boys on the floor but I draw the line at tossing them anywhere. That’s just dangerous. This man is guilty of being irresponsible but I don’t think it was intentional. I’m sure if he could take back the idea to toss the child he would

  • Anonymous

    There have been other incidents where people have noticed he was being too rough with the kid. It probably wasn’t on purpose but you probably shouldn’t be SLAMMING a year and a half old baby on anything. And how do you “accidentally” miss the bed?

  • Crystal Campbell

    Omg this is so sad it might of been an accident but it could of been prevented that’s why u don’t wrestle with a toddler that is that young my heart goes out to the family rest in peace lil man 😥😥😥

      • Ishkabibble

        grammar and punctuation….pfffft all it does is get in the way of the creative flow as does capitalization and don’t even get me started on the thought buster that is paragraphing

      • forsure

        Awwwww it’s the grammar police. let us give a round of applause . how lame of you and what a ill, boring life you lead.

  • Barry Johnson

    Oh god, thats too bad. That poor little kid was probably having fun wrestling. It sounds more like an accident to me. Definitely doesnt sound like the usual meth head starving and beating the kid to death. Thats just sad.

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