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Murder suspect following death of 1-year-old boy pleads not guilty

Marvin Rex Lake (Credit: El Paso Police Department)
Marvin Rex Lake (Credit: El Paso Police Department)
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A man was booked into the El Paso County Detention Center Monday, April 19, for the death of an infant plead not guilty on June 30.

He will have his final hearing on Dec. 15 if no plea deals are made and he will go to trial.

Marvin Rex Lake, 24, was arrested and charged with capital murder, according to jail records.

A bond hearing was held Monday, April 26, where a judge decided he would be held without bond ahead of his trial.

El Paso police said Lake was arrested in connection with the slaying of 1-year-old Ahren Joshua DeHart.

Fort Bliss officials confirmed Lake is a former U.S. Army solder who was discharged from Fort Bliss and that DeHart's father is currently a soldier in the 1st Armored Division.

Lake's arrest affidavit provided details of what happened to DeHart while in Lake's care.

On April 13, police officers were called to El Paso Children’s Hospital after DeHart was taken there with multiple injuries, including a skull fracture.

Investigators learned DeHart, as well as another infant and toddler, had been left in the care of Lake while the children's mothers went to work.

During a video call that occurred at 5 p.m. between Lake and the mother of the other children, identified as "witness Schneider," DeHart was seen and appeared to be "in good health and alert, but was crying and fussy." DeHart's mother was shown that video call, stated the affidavit.

About 4 1/2 hours later, Lake called "witness Schneider," saying that DeHart had "rag-dolled" and had vomited a red substance, according to the affidavit.

"Rag-dolled" is a slang term used to describe a person that goes limp when struck.

Just before midnight on April 12 DeHart's mother and "witness Schneider" arrived at Las Lomas apartments and discovered DeHart unresponsive and not breathing properly, stated the affidavit.

DeHart was admitted into the hospital in critical condition and was soon placed on life-support, as his injuries were described by doctors as acute and non-accidental.

The affidavit listed the boy's injuries as brain damage, a skull fracture, hemorrhaging of the lung, abdominal injuries and bruising.

DeHart died from his injuries on Friday, April 16, police said.

During a police interrogation, Lake said he had no idea how DeHart was injured. Lake initially told police investigators DeHart sat on a futon and watched television.

Police investigators documented that Lake changed his story throughout the interview.

In the end of the interview, Lake explained that DeHart's injuries were sustained by "several wrestling-style moves" and at one point slipped from Lake's hand and struck the frame of a futon.

When police investigators confronted Lake about DeHart's other injuries, Lake explained he grabbed DeHart in a football hold tightly after getting upset at DeHart for ripping a pillow, according to the affidavit.

Lake told investigators he had anger issues and didn't realize his own strength.

During a break from the interrogation, Lake called "witness Schneider" on speaker, saying he did not cause DeHart's head injuries, but that he was responsible for the internal injuries.

A search warrant was executed at the apartment at 500 Rubin Drive. Police investigators exposed the frame of the futon where DeHart allegedly was injured to photograph it.

The day before DeHart was pronounced dead, Lake spoke with police at police headquarters seeking reimbursement for damages to the futon, according to the affidavit.

Lake told police, "I did not hurt his head, I only caused the internal injuries" during the conversation at police headquarters.

On Monday, April 19, a Medical Examiner declared DeHart's death intentional trauma/homicide.

On that same day, Lake was taken into custody and booked into the El Paso County Detention Facility for capital murder in the death of DeHart.

Crime Against Children police investigators are continuing their investigation into the condition of the other infant and toddler who were being cared for by Lake after injuries were found on them.

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