Exclusive: Father of abused 4-year-old speaks out

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Four-year-old Elijah Wallace is fighting for his life after his mother's boyfriend, Jessie Martinez, allegedly beat him severely. Elijah's father, Aaron Wallace, is also fighting to stay strong.

"I'm his dad, I have to keep going, but I'll never get to have my son, as he was," Aaron told KKCO 11 News. "In one way or another, my son is still alive, but in my mind, he's dead. Because they've killed that part of him."

Elijah is currently on life-support and Aaron said Elijah will be getting a feeding tube inserted tomorrow during surgery. He said each day, Elijah's condition varies, though doctors are not certain whether he will survive.

"Even if he does come out of a comma and start looking around and stuff, he's never going to be who he was," Aaron said. "His attitude isn't going to be what it was and I know that."

Aaron said even though felony child abuse charges have been filed against Martinez and the boys' mother, Ashleigh Wallace, it doesn't feel like justice because he has no doubt that Martinez attempted to beat Elijah to death.

"I feel bad that I couldn't protect him," Aaron said.

This was not the first time Martinez injured Aaron's kids. A few months ago, Aaron said he reported abuse to Mesa County Sheriff's Office after seeing Elijah's older brother covered in bruises. Aaron said both Ashleigh and Martinez told investigators the bruises happened from "playing around," and the case was dropped.

Ashleigh and Martinez are both facing felony child abuse charges. Martinez faces two counts of Felony Child Abuse and one count of Child Abuse. Ashleigh faces one count of Felony Child Abuse and one count of False Reporting to Authorities after she allegedly waited two days before seeking medical treatment for Elijah and lying about what caused his injuries.

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