Los Angeles, CA–David Nicholson arrived at the St. Mary Medical Center in Long Beach to the news his son passed Dec 27. The only information Nicholson was told, was that his son Day’von was beaten by a companion of his mother, known only to the family as Coach Ty.
Day’von was six years old.
Police arrested Tyler D’Shaun Martin-Brand, 23, of Downey, who admitted to the family that he fatally punched Dayvon in the chest twice to “discipline him.” Day’von went into cardiac arrest and doctors were unable to revive him.
Martin-Brand is currently in custody for suspicion of murder and is being held on a $1 million dollar bond.
When Nicholson looks back, he notes the circumstances of his co-parenting began to shift once Martin-Brand entered the picture this past summer.
“She Wanted To Hurt Me And This Was A Way To Hurt Me, By Having My Son With Someone Who Wasn’t His Father.”
Nicholson says he has been unable to see Day’von for scheduled visits since September 2019. Although his four-year-old sister, who Nicholson also fathered with Day’von’s mother Kenya, was always accessible.
“When it was time for me to pick them up or anything like that, she would always tell me Day’von’s gone with the coach, whose mentoring him and showing him how to play basketball.”
Nicholson says he was confused why Day’von’s mother felt the need to let Coach Ty take off with his son. His puzzlement grew, when her cousin revealed Day’von was spending weekends with Coach Ty.
At the time of his arrest, Martin-Brand was an after school program supervisor at Normandie Avenue Elementary, where Day’von was also a first grader. Martin-Brand’s Facebook list him as a former student at Junipero Serra High School and a resident of Gardena.
Nicholson said when he tried to inquire further about Day’von’s whereabouts, he described Day’von’s mother as getting angry. To avoid confrontation and to remain cordial in co-parenting, Nicholson says he went along with just speaking to Day’von on the phone when his mother called.
The last time Nicholson says he saw Day’von was when he came over in September 2019 and spent the day with him.
“He came over for a little while. I showed him some love along with his sister and then he had to return back because I had to work the next day.”
Nicholson describes Day’von as a highly energetic kid who was always running around wanting to play basketball, video games and skateboard.
“If he fell down, he picked himself up, brushed himself off and kept going. He wasn’t a sad child. He wasn’t bad or mischievous. He was a very good little boy. He liked company.”
“He Wanted Someone That Would Spend Time With Him. That’s What Kept Him Happy. And If He Didn’t Have That Company, He Was Still A Happy Kid.”
Day’von’s cousin LeeAn’dra describes him as a loud and playful child, full of energy. She says that she was concerned because she felt Day’von’s mother left him in the care of people too frequently.
The last time Nicholson says he spoke to Day’von was a few days before Christmas, when he called to ask Day’von what he wanted. Little did Nicholson know, he would never see Day’von again.
“She told me that she left Day’von with family in Lancaster because they were moving to Long Beach. Come to find out, that was a lie and he was with this man in Downey.”
When asked if he ever worried about Day’von’s safety, Nicholson revealed that he did, mainly because of the things he saw happening to kids on television. Due to this, Nicholson says he always stressed the importance of protecting his children to Day’von’s mother.
Despite his warnings, Nicholson says she let her guard down with Coach Ty.
“She let her guard as a woman. As a mother and as a parent, she did everything right, she kept the kids fed and a roof over their head.”
“She Nurtured Them. But She Failed To Protect My Son. She Left Him Open To A Man She Just Met.”
Day’von’s mother has eight children total. Six were adopted when she went to jail.
Nicholson says no parent should have to experience losing a child, especially under these circumstances. He also stressed feeling like Day’von’s mother tried to hurt him by intentionally keeping Day’von from him. He says their daughter was always accessible.
“She knew the type of relationship me and Day’von had. She was lying to me the entire time just so I wouldn’t get my hands on my son.”
Currently, Day’von’s body is at Angelus Funeral Home as the family prepares his funeral arrangements.
Nicholson’s message for single parents and those co-parenting, is watch who you bring around your kids and watch for signs of abuse.
“I want all single parents to know what can happen if you are not paying attention to your new spouses or friends. You open up the door to these predators and you might just be blind where you can’t see. You never know.”