- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 24, 2014

ASTORIA, Ore. (AP) - An ex-convict living in the coastal Oregon home where a 2-year-old girl died of blunt force trauma has been charged with aggravated murder.

Randy Lee Roden, 26, of Seaside did not enter a plea at a court appearance Wednesday in nearby Astoria. Judge Paula Brownhill assigned a public defender, Conor Huseby, who was not in the courtroom. Huseby confirmed he had been appointed to defend Roden, but he declined to comment.

Emergency personnel responding to a 911 call Saturday morning found Evangelina Wing dead. Police have not said who placed the call or if a weapon was used to kill the girl, who would have turned 3 next month.

“We feel very strong. We believe that we have a good reason for making the arrest today,” Seaside Police Chief Dave Ham said. “This is obviously dealing with a 2-year-old child, and it is very emotional.”

The mother, 24-year-old Dorothy Wing, has not been charged, but Ham said the investigation remains active. Police said her two sons, ages 5 and 2, were hospitalized with injuries that haven’t been publicly described. They have been put in state custody.

Roden was home when authorities arrived, Ham said. He was jailed during the murder investigation on a parole violation.

Records show Roden previously lived in Georgia and stopped school after the 11th grade. He was arrested in the county that includes Seaside two years ago in a domestic violence case involving a different woman. He was charged with crimes such as sex abuse, strangulation, kidnapping and unlawful sexual penetration before ultimately pleading no contest to coercion, court records show.

Roden was in prison from March 2013 until January 2014. He allegedly violated his probation over the weekend by possessing a controlled substance and changing residence without permission from the Department of Corrections.

Though plea bargains are common, it’s unclear why so many counts were dismissed in the 2012 case. Court records from then show Roden’s lawyer complained about a police investigator who apparently failed to take notes during his interviews with the victim and her parents. The attorney, John Orr, did not return a phone call seeking more information about that aspect of the case. A phone number associated with the victim’s parents did not work.

Clatsop County District Attorney Josh Marquis said he could not comment on the 2012 case and why many serious charges were dropped. He said it “would generally be inappropriate” to act as a Monday-morning quarterback on that case.

Roden’s next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 2.

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Follow Steven DuBois at twitter.com/pdxdub

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