Not guilty plea in Fresno toddler murder, molest case

FRESNO, Calif.

/*Hawkins*/ looked disheveled in court and stood mostly out of view -- even from his mother and sister. Despite the disturbing details they've heard from police and the victim's family, Hawkins' family is standing behind him.

"I just wish him the best," his sister said as she walked past an Action News camera.

Hawkins' sister and mother came to court to support the murder defendant as he faced a judge.

Earlier this month, the 20-year-old called 911 from the west Central Fresno apartment he shared with his girlfriend, Emiley Bridges, and her young son, Syre. Hawkins was taking care of Syre, who was three weeks from his second birthday, when the boy stopped breathing.

A coroner's exam later showed Syre died of blunt force trauma to the body. And investigators determined Hawkins not only killed him, but also sexually abused him before his death. The suspect's family claims Hawkins is innocent. They say it's Syre's mother who is responsible for abusing the boy.

"I hope the truth comes out," said Hawkin's mother, /*Kenya Davis*/. "Tell the truth. Tell the truth. Neighbors saw her do it."

Homicide detectives say they believe Emiley Bridges told Action News the truth when she said she didn't know about the abuse. She told me us wants Hawkins to suffer in jail the same way he made her son suffer.

Action News has also uncovered new information about Hawkins' criminal past. A search of court records showed he was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon as a teenager. Then last year, he was arrested -- along with his mother -- after a police chase. They were both convicted of felonies.

Hawkins has been accused of violating his probation in the case twice -- including once for associating with known gang members. He's due back in court next week on the murder charge.

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