You are the owner of this article.
Jury deliberates the guilt of Joshua Molina, charged with first-degree murder of his girlfriend's baby
breaking top story

Jury deliberates the guilt of Joshua Molina, charged with first-degree murder of his girlfriend's baby

Joshua Molina

Joshua Molina attends his hearing Friday at the Twin Falls County Courthouse in Twin Falls.

TWIN FALLS — The jury in the trial of a man charged with first-degree murder in the 2017 death of a 20-month-old baby was unable to reach a verdict Friday.

Twin Falls County Prosecuting Attorney Grant Loebs and defense attorney Steven McRae made their closing arguments in the trial of Joshua Molina, 35, in Judge Benjamin J. Cluff’s courtroom.

The jury returned to the courtroom at 5:45 p.m. without a verdict and will continue deliberations Saturday morning.

Molina is also charged with four counts of injury to a child in the death of Lyryk Altom, the daughter of his then-girlfriend, Amanda Dunlap.

Dunlap has also been charged in the death and has made a plea arrangement. Dunlap and Lyryk moved into Molina’s home in August 2017.

Lyryk was taken to St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center with bleeding in her brain on Oct. 8, 2017. A doctor at St. Luke’s told police he believed her head injuries were caused by non-accidental blunt force trauma. She was flown to a Boise hospital, where she died six days later.

No one saw who delivered the killing blow to the little blond-haired girl. But Dunlap and another roommate told police they were in the Molina’s living room when Molina came out of a bedroom carrying Lyryk’s “limp but contorted body,” Loebs told the jury Friday.

Loebs asked the jurors to bring “reason and common sense” to deliberations as he described the injuries that Lyryk endured during the 62 days she lived under Molina’s roof.

Seizures. Broken ribs. Broken arm. Broken wrist. Layers of bruising. Those were the signs that Lyryk was tortured by Molina, starting a couple of weeks after the girl and her mother moved in, he said.

“The pattern of abuse continued over and over and over,” Loebs said.

But McRae countered by focusing on Molina’s male roommate as a possible suspect who police failed to investigate.

“The cops were out to find evidence against (Molina),” he said. “The cops ignored other evidence that might point to someone else. We don’t know who killed Lyryk, and that’s a hard pill to swallow.”

February crime report


Sign up for our Crime & Courts newsletter

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


News Alerts

Breaking News