Former Sedro Woolley Man Arrested for Murder of Infant

Photo: Whitman County Sheriff's Office

Tehachapi, California – A 20-year old former Sedro-Woolley resident has been arrested in California  for assault and 1st degree murder of  his girlfriends 8-month old infant child.

According to a probable cause affidavit of arrest, Kern County California Sheriff’s Deputies responded to an apartment in the 600 block of Cherry Lane in Tehachapi, California around 11:30  p.m. on Monday, January 2nd, 2017 after the infant’s mother returned home from work and found her infant son dead.

Deputies say on January 2nd, 2017 between the hours of 6:00 pm and 9:45 pm, 20-year old Tobin Phillips is accused of suffocating and assaulting the  8-month old baby until the baby died while he was watching the infant while the infants mother was at work.

Tobin told detectives the baby had been screaming and crying non stop for several days and he couldn’t take it anymore.  Tobin told detectives his temper got he best of him and he killed the baby.

The details of the case are quite disturbing as Tobin told detectives he covered the baby’s head with a pillow in an attempt to stop him from crying.  When the baby would not stop crying, Tobin told detectives he sat on the baby  with a pillow over the baby’s  head until the infant  lost consciousness. Tobin told detectives he then shook the baby back and forth causing his head to strike the metal bar of a futon several times,  causing large injuries on the babies head.

During the interview, Tobin told Deputies once the baby lost consciousness for a second time,  he then poured a cup of water on the baby’s face in an attempt to revive him.  When the baby did not regain consciousness, Tobin told Deputies he placed the baby  in a bath and splashed hot water on him in an attempt to “shock” him awake.  He then fled the scene before deputies arrived on scene after the infants  mom found him dead after returning home from work.

Police were able to track down Tobin and arrest him several hours later at a Faststrip Gas Station in the town of Techachapi, California.

Tobin Phillips was arraigned in court on Thursday, January 5th, and  is currently being held in jail on a $2 million dollar bond. He has been charged with 1st Degree Murder and willful cruelty to a child, resulting in death.

On Friday, January 6th, the Kern County Sheriff’s Office Coroner released the identity and cause of death of the baby. The Coroners release says:  “On January 2,2017 8 month, 5 day old Baron Brian Smith resident of Tehachapi was a victim of a homicide. The decadent was assaulted by another and was pronounced dead at the scene. After a postmortem examination the cause of death is multiple injuries and the manner of death is homicide.”

This is the second time in two months that Tobin Phillips has been arrested for injuring a child.

In November of 2016, Tobin was arrested for assaulting his 21-day old Child in Albion, Washington.

In that case, Whitman County Sheriff’s Deputies received a report from hospital staff about a baby that had been taken to Pullman Regional Hospital with injuries that “appeared suspicious”.

In a previous press release on November 4th,  from the Whitman County Sheriff’s Office, the injuries to his own child in November  included bruising, abrasions, and a skull fracture.  After an investigation in that case, Tobin Phillips was arrested booked into the Whitman County Jail for the charge of felony 2nd-degree Assault of a child.  The infant was transported by Ambulance to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane for treatment.  She was then taken into custody by Child Protective Services where she is still being cared for today.

According to a story by KLEWtv.com, Tobin Phillips spoke to Officers and admitted to causing the injury to his own child in the case in November. Whitman County Sheriff Brett Myers said “he  worked with the authorities, he spoke with our officers,  and admitted to what he had done.”  A judge released him without bond in that case because he had no prior criminal history and posed no immediate danger to the public. “The court determined he could be released on his own recognizance.” said Sheriff Myers.

According to a story from KXLY.COM, Whitman County Prosecutor Denis Tracy said part of Tobin Phillips restrictions when he was released from jail on his own recognizance following his  court appearance on November 7th, 2016 was that he was not to have contact with his baby, he was not to leave the State of Washington or Northern Idaho, and not commit any crimes.

The Whitman County  Superior Court has revoked his release because he’s violated both of  the restrictions of release put in place by the court. Prosecutors have amended those  conditions of release and there is a $500,000 warrant in place.  Sheriff Meyers said Tobin Phillips  will face the murder charge in California before he could face the charges in Whitman County due to the serious nature of the crime.






About the Author

Chris Nelson
I'm a long time Skagit County Resident. I believe in doing the right thing and helping others when you can.

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