TWIN FALLS — A grand jury has indicted a Jerome man in the October murder of a Twin Falls baby.
Joshua Eric Molina, 33, is charged with murder in the first degree and four counts of injury to a child in the death of 20-month-old Lyryk Altom. He was arrested March 27 and indicted May 23.
Molina was the boyfriend of Amanda Dunlap, Lyryk’s mother. Dunlap was arrested shortly after Lyryk’s death last year on charges of first-degree murder, eight felony counts of injury to a child and one misdemeanor count of injury to a child.
Dunlap took Lyryk to the St. Luke’s Magic Valley emergency room with bleeding in her brain on Oct. 8, 2017. The baby was flown to Boise, where she died six days later.
A doctor at St. Luke’s told police he believed her head injuries were caused by non-accidental blunt force trauma, according to court documents.
At the time of Lyryk’s death, Molina told police he was not really involved in the medical care of the baby, a claim that Dunlap initially agreed with.
However, later police interviews with Dunlap and a review of text messages on her phone revealed that she had previously lied to law enforcement about Molina’s relationship with Lyryk. Photos and texts suggest that Molina may have physically abused the infant over a period of several months.
Molina wouldn’t let Dunlap take Lyryk to see a doctor after she had a seizure on Oct. 8, Dunlap told police in an interview. She said Molina had been blowing marijuana into Lyryk’s face to alleviate the symptoms of her seizures, and he was afraid that his son would be taken away from him if Lyryk tested positive for marijuana. A friend picked Dunlap and Lyryk up later that day and took them to the emergency room instead.
A grand jury last Wednesday indicted Molina, accusing him of murdering Lyryk “with malice aforethought or the intentional application of torture, which was inflicted with the intent to cause suffering or to satisfy some sadistic inclination.”
The grand jury also declared the murder to be “especially heinous, atrocious or cruel, manifesting exceptional depravity,” and accused Molina of “exhibit[ing] utter disregard for human life.”
Molina is jailed without bond. He will be arraigned in district court on June 4.