- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 26, 2016

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) - A southwestern Montana man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to deliberate homicide in the death of his girlfriend’s infant son at a Bozeman motel last November.

Branden Moss, 21, of Clarkston, entered his plea before District Judge Holly Brown, who continued his bail at the $250,000 listed in his arrest warrant, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle (bit.ly/2eH7nsD ) reports.

Police responded to a room at an extended stay motel on Nov. 3, 2015 and found a 5-month-old boy lying on the floor, unconscious and not breathing, charging documents said.

Moss told officers that the baby had started crying and he picked him up and tried burping him. He said the boy stiffened up and lost consciousness.

An officer performed CPR until an ambulance arrived and took the baby to the hospital, where he died, court records said.

An autopsy determined the baby died of blunt force trauma to the head and neck. The state crime lab performed the autopsy a day after the baby’s death, but didn’t return its findings until August. Moss was charged Monday and arrested Tuesday.

Defense attorney John Hud sought a lower bail amount, arguing that Moss had known about the potential charge for months and stayed in the area and got a job.

Gallatin County Attorney Marty Lambert argued that releasing Moss from custody would put his girlfriend’s six other children at risk, including one fathered by Moss.

Brown said Moss could request a bail reduction hearing.

After Wednesday’s hearing, Lambert told Bozeman police that one of Moss’s supporters threatened him in the courtroom.

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Information from: Bozeman Daily Chronicle, https://www.bozemandailychronicle.com

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