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Suspect in Las Vegas boy’s death refuses to attend court hearing

A man charged with murder in the death of a 3-year-old boy refused to appear in court Friday.

Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Melanie Tobiasson ordered 40-year-old Joshua Oxford to be brought to court next week “by any means necessary.”

The boy’s mother, 20-year-old Cassie Smith, faced the judge in jail clothing and shackles, and said she understood the charges against her.

Deputy Public Defender Scott Coffee, who represents Oxford, suggested that his client did not leave the jail for court Friday morning because of media attention on the case.

After the hearing, Coffee said he met with Oxford, who reported not feeling well and that he was “overwhelmed by the entire situation, including the media.”

The lawyer said Oxford was “cooperative” and is expected to appear in court Monday.

Police said Smith reported her son, Daniel Theriot, missing on Sunday morning at Sunset Park.

She told officers that she had taken the child to the park to feed the ducks before her phone rang. She said she turned her back on Daniel and when she turned around, he was gone. But authorities suspected her story was a lie after no one at the park recalled seeing the woman and child together.

Smith and Oxford, her boyfriend, were arrested after Daniel’s body was found Monday in a remote area near Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Prosecutors have said the boy’s body showed signs of ongoing abuse.

Police said his 2-year-old brother was taken by Child Protective Services and transported to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, where staffers discovered signs of physical abuse.

Oxford and Smith also are facing child abuse charges in connection with the younger boy’s injuries. They are being held at the Clark County Detention Center on $100,000 bail.

Contact David Ferrara at dferrara@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039. Follow @randompoker on Twitter.

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