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A Man Is Accused Of Sitting On A Toddler And Killing Him Over A Cellphone

Larry Murphy, 31, has been charged with murder and child endangerment leading to death.

Posted on March 19, 2019, at 4:13 p.m. ET

Council Bluffs Police Department, Google Maps

A 31-year-old Iowa man is accused of killing a 2-year-old boy when he sat on the child while punishing him.

Larry Murphy, who had been living with the boy's mother, was arrested on Friday and has been charged with first-degree murder and child endangerment leading to death, according to court records.

According to the Council Bluffs Police Department, Murphy had been staying with the boy, the boy's brother, and their mother at a motel. Detectives said that "in an attempt to calm the child down," Murphy sat on the him for 20 to 30 seconds and then left the room.

The Des Moines Register reported that Murphy was punishing the boy for taking his cellphone; he typically handled discipline of the boy and his brother because their mother has cerebral palsy, the newspaper reported. Jail records list Murphy as 6 feet tall and 160 pounds.

When Murphy returned to the motel room, the boy was unresponsive and Murphy called his sister for help. They were on their way to a hospital with the boy when they called 911, police said.

The boy, identified by local media as Oakland Oburu, was treated by paramedics, then taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. A doctor later noticed that the child showed signs of being asphyxiated, the Register reported.

Murphy is being held in jail on more than $1 million bond.

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