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Trial date set for boyfriend in baby murder in marijuana-related case


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TWIN FALLS — A Jerome man accused of killing his girlfriend’s baby is set to face a jury in June.

A trial for Joshua Molina is scheduled to start June 17, the court determined Monday. Attorneys said they expect the trial to last two weeks.

Molina is charged with first-degree murder and four felony counts of injury to a child in connection with the October 2017 death of 20-month-old Lyryk Altom, the daughter of Molina’s girlfriend at the time. He is accused of repeatedly abusing and ultimately killing the Twin Falls infant.

The state considered but decided against pursuing the death penalty in the case. The decision came after an “exhaustive review” of the record, case, and evidence, prosecuting attorney Grant Loebs said.

Lyryk was taken to St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center with bleeding in her brain on Oct. 8, 2017, and then was flown to a Boise hospital, 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.

Lyryk’s mother, Amanda Dunlap, was charged shortly after her daughter’s death with one count of first-degree murder, eight felony counts of injury to a child and one misdemeanor count of injury to a child. She has pleaded not guilty to the charges; a trial date for her has not been set.

At the time of Lyryk’s death, Molina told police he was not really involved in the baby’s medical care, a claim that Dunlap initially agreed with. But in later interviews, she said she had lied about Molina’s level of involvement.

Photos and text messages reviewed by police suggest that Molina may have physically abused the infant over several months leading up to her death, according to court documents.


Dunlap told police that Molina wouldn’t let her take Lyryk to see a doctor after she had a seizure because he had been blowing marijuana in the baby’s face to alleviate her symptoms, according to a police affidavit. Dunlap said Molina was afraid that his son would be taken away from him if Lyryk tested positive for marijuana.

A friend picked up Dunlap and Lyryk later that day and took them to the emergency room, she said.

Molina was arrested in March, five months after Lyryk’s death. A grand jury indicted Molina in May, describing the alleged crime as “especially heinous, atrocious or cruel, manifesting exceptional depravity.”

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