Whitman County man suspected of killing 8-month-old baby in Cali - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Whitman County man suspected of killing 8-month-old baby in California

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Tobin Phillips. Photo: Whitman County Sheriff's Office Tobin Phillips. Photo: Whitman County Sheriff's Office
WHITMAN COUNTY, Wash. -

A Whitman County man is in a California jail facing charges of killing an 8-month-old baby, just two months after he was arrested for assaulting another child in Washington.

In November, 20-year-old Tobin Phillips was arrested and charged in Colfax with assaulting his 3-week-old baby. With no previous criminal history, he was released on the conditions that he didn't have any contact with the child, didn't leave the state and didn't commit any crimes.

Then on Monday Phillips was again arrested, this time in Tehapachi, California, for the murder of a child. The Kern County Sheriff's Department says Phillips was watching his girlfriend's 8-month-old baby while she was working. When deputies arrived at their apartment, they found the baby dead. Phillips ran from the home and was found a couple of hours later. He's now facing multiple charges including first degree murder.

Phillips told investigators his temper got the best of him. When the baby wouldn't stop crying, he covered the child up with a pillow, sat on him and shook him until he lost consciousness. He then tried to revive him by splashing water on him in the bath, but the baby never woke up.

Whitman County Prosecutor Denis Tracy says he's never seen anything like this.

"It's just a terribly shocking situation. A terribly shocking case," Tracy says. "I've never heard of such a horrendous situation. I'm shocked and dismayed."

On Wednesday Tracy obtained a warrant to arrest Phillips for violating the conditions of his release, setting his bond at $500,000. The decision on whether or not to extradite Phillips back to Washington will depend on the outcome of the murder case in California.

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