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Father Held in Killing Of 2-Month-Old in SE

By Del Quentin Wilber and Henri E. Cauvin
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, January 29, 2005; Page B04

A Southeast Washington man was ordered held without bond yesterday after authorities charged him with first-degree murder in the beating death of his infant son.

Gregory D. Mobley, 34, is accused of killing 2-month-old Tavonte Adon Mobley. The D.C. medical examiner's office ruled that the boy died Jan. 18 from injuries to the head and body.

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According to charging papers, relatives told police that they had noticed that Tavonte had bruises, a scar and a burn mark and that he often cried and vomited. Authorities said Mobley was the child's primary caregiver.

Mobley told investigators he noticed that his son was not breathing about 9 a.m. Jan. 18 and called authorities to their apartment for help, detectives said. Paramedics rushed the baby to Greater Southeast Community Hospital, where he died a short time later.

An autopsy determined that the boy had died from swelling in the brain and scalp bleeding that was caused by a beating, the charging documents said. Tavonte also had broken ribs that were healing, papers said.

Mobley and his son lived with Mobley's mother in an apartment in the 3900 block of Fourth Street SE, police said. The baby's mother had sporadic contact with the boy, police said.

Mobley, who denied harming the infant, told police that Tavonte fell off a couch and hit the floor of their apartment about a month ago, investigators said.

"He was the only person who could have caused the injuries," said Sgt. Robert Parker of the D.C. police special victims unit, which investigated the case.

At a hearing yesterday in D.C. Superior Court, Magistrate Judge Aida L. Melendez ordered that Mobley remain jailed, over the objections of defense attorney Dehlia Aghadiuno of the D.C. Public Defender Service. Aghadiuno argued that nothing in Mobley's record suggested he was dangerous.

But Assistant U.S. Attorney June M. Jeffries said Mobley also faces charges of domestic violence, contempt of court and other offenses. The judge then found that Mobley is a potential danger and that he could flee if freed in the murder case.

While in jail, Mobley asked to be released to attend his son's funeral. A judge denied the request.

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