Charges have been filed against the man police say killed 4-year-old Giovanni Meijas.

Elis Nelson Ortiz-Nieves was arraigned Thursday afternoon on charges of felony murder and first-degree child abuse for the boy's death on Tuesday. He's also charged as a habitual offender for prior felony convictions.

Ortiz-Nieves, a father of three, was emotional during the video arraignment before 63rd District Court Judge Sara Smolenski.

The judge ordered that he be held without bond.

“Whenever there’s an allegation that some vulnerable person has been killed like this, it is just heart and gut-wrenching and hard to understand anything about it at all,'' Smolenski said. “Even if you work in the business, it’s difficult to understand anything about something so horrific.’’

According to a press release from the Kent County Prosecutor's Office, Ortiz-Nieves was dating Giovanni's mother and had been living at their home for about 6 months.

Related: 4-year-old Kent County boy dies from apparent beating

When she left for work in the morning, Ortiz-Nieves was left alone to watch seven children, all under the age of 11.

Two of the children were Ortiz-Nieves’, four were his girlfriend's and one was a relative. All of them have been removed from the home, pending a Children’s Protective Services investigation.

Ortiz-Nieves is expected back in 63rd District Court for a probable cause hearing later this month.

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Kayla Fortney is a senior multi-platform producer at WZZM 13. Have a news tip? Email, visit our Facebook page or Twitter.