Army veteran sentenced for killing his battle buddy’s child

Ahren Joshua DeHart

A veteran who was accused of killing his friend’s child a year after getting out of the Army has been sentenced to life in prison.

Marvin Rex Lake, 27, was sentenced last week after a jury convicted him of capital murder of a person under 10 years of age in connection with the April 2021 death of a fellow veteran’s young child.

Lake was arrested in April of 2021, on suspicion of capital murder after 1-year-old Ahren Joshua DeHart was found unresponsive while Lake was babysitting him and two other children.

Lake served in the U.S. Army with Ahren’s father, Brandon DeHart, at Fort Bliss, and his girlfriend was a coworker of Ahren’s mother, Araya DeHart.

He was considered a close family friend, according to the El Paso Times.

On April 12, 2021, the Deharts left Ahren with Lake at his apartment in El Paso after their babysitter after their scheduled babysitter canceled on them.

While babysitting, Lake video-called Ahren’s mother and a witness at 5:00 p.m. to show he was okay but fussy.

At around 10:50 p.m. he called the witness and said Ahren was vomiting a red substance, the court documents state.

He said he didn’t know if the baby was throwing up food or blood.

The mother and witness left work and found Ahren unresponsive and not breathing properly when they arrived at the apartment.

After arriving at the hospital, doctors said Ahren had brain damage, a skull fracture, lung hemorrhaging, abdominal injuries and bruising on his butt, legs and chin.

He was placed on life support but died on April 16, 2021, after he was taken off life support.

Marvin Rex Lake (El Paso Police)

The El Paso County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the cause of his death as intentional trauma and homicide.

On the same day of the incident, Lake told El Paso police he had no idea how the baby sustained the injuries.

Later he admitted to carrying the boy as a football and dropping him from his hands while performing wrestling moves on him.

He claimed Ahren struck the frame of a futon during the fall.

During the police investigation, the futon’s frame was exposed and photographed, allegedly damaging it.

The day before Ahren was taken off life support, Lake went to the police station seeking a reimbursement for damages to his futon.

Police claim Ahren also suffered injuries from Lake squeezing the baby after becoming upset at him for ripping a pillow.

Lake admitted “he had anger issues and did not realize his own strength,” the police affidavit states.

“I did not hurt his head. I only caused the internal injuries,” Lake allegedly told police.

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