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Texas Man Used Wrestling Moves on 1-Year-Old Boy, Killing Him. Now, He'll Spend Life Behind Bars.

Texas Man Sentenced for Using Wrestling Moves on Baby, Killing Him
Source: El Paso County Sheriff's Office, MEGA

Marvin Rex Lake will spend the rest of his life behind bars for killing a 1-year-old boy, officials said.

Apr. 14 2024, Published 10:01 a.m. ET

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After a 1-year-old boy ripped a pillow, a Texas man used wrestling moves on him that eventually killed the toddler. Now, officials say he will spend the rest of his life behind bars in connection with the boy's murder.

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Ahren Josua DeHart, 1, was taken to a local hospital with multiple injuries on April 13, 2021. One was a skull fracture, and police were called to investigate, authorities said.

Officers arrested and charged Marvin Rex Lake, 27, in connection to the slaying of DeHart, police said.

CBS 4 reported DeHart and another infant and toddler were left in Lake's care while their mothers went to work.

The mother of the other children had a video call at 5 p.m. with Lake and she stated that she saw DeHart during the call and the child appeared to be in good health.

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Lake called the same mother about 4 hours later and said DeHart had “rag-dolled” and threw up a red substance, police said.

Both the mothers arrived at the apartment just before midnight on April 12, 2021, and found DeHart unresponsive and not breathing properly, authorities said and CBS 4 reported.

DeHart was taken to a local hospital and he was admitted in critical condition and placed on life-support, as doctors said his injuries were acute and non-accidental, according to authorities.

On April 16, 2021, DeHart died from his injuries, authorities said and CBS 4 reported.

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Lake was brought in for questioning and told police that he had no idea how DeHart was injured and he was sitting on a futon and watching television, police said.

However, Lake changed his story throughout the interrogation, authorities said and CBS 4 reported.

In the last interview with Lake, he told police that DeHart’s injuries were sustained by “several wrestling-style moves.” He added that DeHart also slipped from his hand at one point and struck the frame of a futon, police said.


Court records show investigators questioned Lake on the child's other injuries and Lake said he grabbed the 1-year-old boy in a football hold tightly after getting upset at him for ripping a pillow.

Lake admitted to authorities he has anger issues, but did not realize his own strength, police said.

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Investigators took a break from the interrogation, which is when Lake called the mother of the other two children on speaker and told her that he did not cause DeHart head injuries, but he was responsible for the internal injuries.

Lake later told the same thing to police, authorities said.

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On April 19, 2021, a medical examiner declared DeHart’s death as intentional trauma/homicide.

That same day, police arrested Lake and he was booked into jail for capital murder in connection to DeHart's death. He was issued no bond and remained in jail.

On April 3, 2024, Lake was found guilty by an El Paso County jury on one count of capital murder of a person under 10 years of age, officials said.

A judge subsequently sentenced Lake to life in prison.


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