PAULDING COUNTY, Ga. -- A father whose 12-year-old son died on Friday has been charged with murder.
The body of Eric Forbes, a sixth-grade student at Sammy McClure Middle School in Paulding County, was found badly beaten when police were called to his Acworth home Friday night.
Shayaa Yusef Forbes initially told police his son drowned.
The preliminary autopsy report, released Tuesday, said Forbes was the victim of severe child abuse. The GBI said the cause of death is still under investigation, but the manner of death was homicide.
Forbes, 32, was initially charged with child cruelty, but a murder charge was added Wednesday.
Investigators told Channel 2's Aaron Diamant that corporal punishment was a "regular part of the disciplinary process" for the boy.
Police said the boy's sister also lived at the home. She is now in state custody.
The boy’s mother, Ashlei Majors, is seeking custody of her daughter.
Majors said she left the relationship years ago because she suffered abuse, too.
"I really don't want to talk about it," said Majors as she walked out of the courtroom. "But it wasn't a good history."
A judge delayed the custody hearing because neither side brought attorneys.