Ahren Joshua DeHart, RIP: 1yo Boy 'Murdered by Babysitter for Ripping a Pillow'

Chris Menahan
Apr. 21, 2021

El Paso murder suspect Marvin Rex Lake, 24, allegedly killed 1-year-old Ahren Joshua DeHart because he grew angry with him "for ripping a pillow" while in his care.

The crime happened last week in El Paso, Texas and is only now getting minor local news coverage.


From KFOX14, "Murder suspect admits to using wrestling moves on 1-year-old boy":
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 [Marvin Rex 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.
While DeHart was dying in a hospital under intensive care, Lake reportedly went back to the police station to demand "reimbursement for damages" to his futon that were allegedly sustained as a result of him smashing DeHart's head into 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.
KTSM has more:
Lake watched over DeHart and two other young children on April 12 while their mothers went to work, the document states. Extended family told KTSM 9 News it was the first time that Lake watched DeHart and that he was a friend of the infant's parents.

DeHart's regular babysitter had called out sick and Lake was a last-minute child care option, the family added.


Futon reimbursement

Lake returned to the police headquarters on April 15, wanting to speak with the investigator on the case. They had a discussion in the lobby of the building.

"The defendant (Lake) was seeking reimbursement for damages to the futon," the affidavit reads.
A GoFundMe was launched to help the family pay for DeHart's funeral.

DeHart's father Brandon is a Specialist in the Army based in Ft. Bliss and his mother Araya is a healthcare worker at a local El Paso hospital, KTSM reported.

Ahren Joshua DeHart had turned one in March.

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