John Winkler often took care of Adrian Langlais, treating the toddler as a grandson.
He was especially protective of Adrian around Christian Michael Tyrrell, the man accused of killing the 2-year-old boy.
Winkler testified Friday in Tyrrell’s capital murder trial, saying that Adrian was deathly afraid of Tyrrell. He recounted that on Dec. 26, 2014, Adrian ran to him when Tyrrell came to pick the boy up from Winkler’s home.
“He [Adrian] was shaking,” Winkler testified. “He didn’t want to go. He was making noises. He grabbed my legs and I picked him up he dug his fingers into my arms so hard he made indentations.”
Winkler refused to let Adrian leave with Tyrrell that day. Adrian was used to being around people, and Winkler described him as a happy, friendly child.
“I never saw him shy away from anyone except for Christian Tyrrell,” Winkler said. “I didn’t let him go. I couldn’t.”
Tyrrell is accused of beating Adrian to death, including slamming his head against a wall.
Because Tarrant County prosecutors chose not to seek the death penalty, Tyrrell, 24, faces life in prison without parole if convicted in the highly publicized case.