YUCCA VALLEY, Calif. - The Yucca Valley man facing murder charges in the death of his girlfriend's son pleaded not guilty in court today. On Feb. 10, Arthur Thomas Davies allegedly attacked 1-year-old Parker Lee at a residence on the 555000 block of Twentynine Palms Highway in Yucca Valley.
The toddler was initially brought to Hi Desert Medical Center in Joshua Tree and was later flow to Loma Linda University Medical Center. Lee passed away from the injuries on the evening of Feb. 12. Staff at Loma Linda determined that the toddler's injuries were suspicious, notified the authorities, which led to the investigation and Davies' eventual arrest.
Eric Schumacher told KESQ / CBS Local 2's Zak Dahlheimer it's been a tough week to comprehend, losing his one-year-old son.
"It’s almost like you keep asking yourself 'when I am going to wake up, is this all a bad dream?' and it’s unfortunately, it’s not a bad dream. this is my life," Schumacher said.
Schumacher and others made the trip to Joshua Tree.
"It’s infuriating. No parent ever wishes to have to go through this and no parent expects to go through this," Schumacher said.
Neighbor Candice Belle said she's still in shock.
"It’s been very hard to wrap our heads around. it’s just very gut-wrenching about how someone did this to him," Belle said.
Davies' friends say they believe he is innocent and that something had been wrong with the boy for some time.
"Art deserves for people to know that he is not a monster and an evil person and would never harm a child. He deserves a fair trial and for the investigation to be fair on both sides." - Whitney, friend of Arthur Thomas Davies
Schumacher says he did not know a lot about Davies.
"I don’t really know him. I only met him the one time but… I don’t know. I just don’t see how anyone can do this to a 1-year-old child," Schumacher said.
Meanwhile, Schumacher said now is a time for healing while standing up for his son.
This little boy deserves a voice. Whatever happened, happened and he can’t defend himself or speak for himself and he deserves a voice and he deserves justice," Schumacher said.
While family said Parker's heart is still beating, Schumacher told us his son is legally dead and the family plans to donate his organs.
Davies' bail is set at $1 million. His next scheduled court appearances are on Feb. 21 and 22.
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