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FAYETTEVILLE -- A man accused of killing a one-year-old boy then hiding the body in the closet of his apartment pleaded not guilty to a murder charge today in Washington County Circuit Court.

Tyler Hobbs, 22, is charged with first-degree murder and abuse of a corpse. He was given a Jan. 30 court date before Circuit Judge Joanna Taylor. Hobbs faces 10 to 40 years or life in prison if convicted. Hobbs is being held at the Washington County Jail in lieu of $750,000 bond.

Fayetteville police went to Foxborough Apartments, 920 N. Leverett Ave., No. 707 on Oct. 30 after Hobbs called to report the child had fallen down the stairs a "few days ago" and started having a seizure, according to a preliminary arrest report.

Hobbs told dispatchers and later police that after the child fell, he did CPR and the child started breathing, but stopped. Hobbs told police he got scared, didn't know what to do and "called Monday because he wanted to turn himself in," according to the report.

Hobbs said the child died Oct. 15.

Officers arrived about 6 p.m. and spoke with Hobbs as well as Maria Giron-Molina, the child's mother.

Police found the boy's body in an advanced state of decomposition in a plastic container covered with blankets in the closet of the couple's bedroom, according to police.

Giron-Molina, 21, said Hobbs told her the child fell at a park, according to the report.

Hobbs later told police he had a headache and the boy was crying uncontrollably. The boy had knocked a picture frame and lamp off a bedside table. Angered at the boy's refusal to calm down, Hobbs said he picked the boy up and covered the child's mouth with his hand to muffle the crying. Hobbs said the child hit and scratched him, so he shook the boy back-and-forth, according to a police news release.

Hobbs told police he was under the influence of marijuana, blacked out and when he came to the child wasn't breathing. Hobbs said he did CPR. The initial effort was successful, but ultimately the boy died without receiving medical attention, he told police.

Hobbs expressed remorse for his actions and said he didn't intend to harm the child, according to police.

Police contend the couple conspired not to call them. After two weeks passed, the two were planning to give Giron-Molina's other two children to her family and then contact police. Giron-Molina told police she was afraid of losing custody of her children.

Giron-Molina is charged with hindering the apprehension of Hobbs. She has a Feb. 14 court date and is being held on $50,000 bond.

NW News on 01/04/2018

Print Headline: Hobbs pleads not guilty in child's death

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