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Man convicted of murdering girlfriend's baby received life without parole

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Posted at 10:28 AM, Oct 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-02 20:56:20-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Tobin Phillips, the man convicted in August for the death of eight-month-old Baron Smith, was sentenced Friday morning to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Phillips, 24, was found guilty on Aug. 21 of of first-degree murder with the special circumstance of torture for the January 2017 murder of his girlfriend's baby in Tehachapi.

On January 2, 2017, Kern County Sheriff's deputies were called to Cherry Lane in Tehachapi, just east of Tucker Road, for a homicide investigation. When they arrived, they found the baby boy dead inside.

On January 2, 2017, Kern County Sheriff's deputies were called to Cherry Lane in Tehachapi, just east of Tucker Road, for a homicide investigation. When they arrived, they found the baby boy dead inside.

Court documents say Phillips told them he even sat on the pillow before swinging the boy back and forth, causing the boy's head to hit a metal futon.

The document says Phillips tried to splash water on the baby after he lost consciousness.

At the time of his arrest, Phillips was facing charges of abusing a 3-week-old in Whitman County in Washington.

According to the lead prosecutor for Whitman County, Phillps was caring for the child while his girlfriend was away. Phillips tried to calm the baby girl by swinging her in his arms, but hit her head on the door. Phillips and the child's grandmother told police it was an accident.

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