Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Man admits shaking boy to death in ’17

Sentence is 40 years, 15 suspended; child’s body was stowed in closet for days

- RON WOOD

FAYETTEVIL­LE — A man has pleaded guilty to killing a 1-year-old boy and hiding his body in a closet in 2017.

Tyler Hobbs, 25, pleaded guilty Tuesday to first-degree murder and abuse of a corpse. Washington County Circuit Judge Joanna Taylor sentenced Hobbs to 40 years in the custody of the Department of Correction with 15 years suspended. Hobbs was given credit for more than three years of jail time while he awaited trial.

Hobbs also pleaded guilty to several drug and weapons charges. Those sentences will run concurrent­ly with the sentence for murder.

“No outcome is going to right the terrible wrong committed by Mr. Hobbs, but we hope that him having to stand in court and admit to what he did along with serving his 25-year prison sentence will serve as some small measure of justice for the victim and his family,” said Brian Lamb, deputy prosecutor.

Fayettevil­le police went to Foxborough Apartments, 920 N. Leverett Ave., No. 707, on Oct. 30, 2017, after Hobbs called and told them the child fell down the stairs a “few days ago” and had a seizure, according to a report. Hobbs told police he did CPR and the child started breathing but stopped.

Hobbs told police he got scared, didn’t know what to do and called to surrender.

Police found the boy’s body in an advanced state of decomposit­ion in a plastic container covered with blankets in a bedroom closet. Hobbs told police the boy died 15 days earlier.

Maria Giron-Molina, the child’s mother, told police that Hobbs told her the child fell at a park, according to the report.

Hobbs later told police that 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.

Giron-Molina is charged with hindering the apprehensi­on of Hobbs. She has a May 12 court date before Taylor.

Giron-Molina is being held at the Washington County jail without bail.

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