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Man Convicted of Murdering Girlfriend's 17-Month-Old Son

Coroner's officials testified that the boy suffered as many as 21 blows to the head, with doctors from the hospital testifying that it was one of the worst injuries they had seen to a child, according to the District Attorney's Office.

A man was convicted Tuesday of murdering his girlfriend's 16-month-old son.

A Pomona Superior Court jury deliberated about 4 1/2 hours before finding Stephen Douglas Hoffman, 24, guilty of second-degree murder and assault on a child causing death, according to Deputy District Attorney Taraneh Saba.

Hoffman was watching his Azusa girlfriend's baby, Malaikye Payne, while his girlfriend was working an overnight shift on Aug. 13, 2011, according to the prosecutor.

At about 2:20 a.m. that day, Hoffman texted his girlfriend an image of her son with a developing bruise on his face and told her that the boy had fallen off the bed and onto a toy, according to the District Attorney's Office.

The woman returned home after work, went to bed at 6 a.m. and called 911 three hours later after being alerted by Hoffman that her son was having difficulty breathing, according to the District Attorney's Office.

The boy was declared brain-dead when he was taken to the hospital, and was taken off life-support two days later.

A few months after the child's death, Hoffman changed his account of what had happened and said the child fell on the floor after jumping on the bed, the prosecutor said.

Coroner's officials testified that the boy suffered as many as 21 blows to the head, with doctors from the hospital testifying that it was one of the worst injuries they had seen to a child, according to the District Attorney's Office.

The boy's death was investigated by the Azusa Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Homicide Bureau. Hoffman was arrested seven months after the boy died, authorities said.

Hoffman is facing a maximum 25-year-to-life term in state prison, with sentencing set April 4 before Judge Thomas C. Falls.


– City News Service. 

Liz February 26, 2014 at 10:21 AM
He is a disgrace to the human race.
J. Knight February 26, 2014 at 11:47 AM
LORD have mercy. This is too heartbreaking.
Judy Duvall February 26, 2014 at 12:28 PM
As I sat and listened to 95% of this trial, I was shocked at the outcome. So much circumstantial evidence and at last minute the DA thought they were loosing so badly that they added a 3rd much lesser charge of negligence (for him not calling 911 when he should have). The expert witness for the defense who's credential were impeccable was made out to be a paid mercenary. In every rial I've ever witnessed, the expert witness is paid. That's a given! That expert pediatric neurologist witness has a record of never testifying for a person he believes is guilty. The record indicated that the child had a blood disorder and that he had fallen repeatedly at the maternal grandmother's, actually running head first into a tail gate on a pick up truck. Into walls and coffee tables, head first. Why the mother admitted the baby fell in the bathtub at 7PM that night when she gave him a bath! Baby's family witnesses also agreed child was 'clumsy'. Fell down a flight of stairs at great grandmothers just 2 or 3 weeks before! Grandmother of defendant is RN and specialized in Peds. Said she knew from the day she first met the baby that there was 'something wrong' with him. And after 3 or so hrs w/child, tried to gently tell the mother. Mother told doctor and doctor checked child and order blood tests that mother never had done! Autopsy records showed the blood disorder. So, no! Way too much emotion on DA's case, and not enough thinking on this jury's part. Sort of like the patch. Telling only the one side in this article. Sorry, but over the years, I've really noticed how the Patch has really slipped down hill!
Vito Spago February 26, 2014 at 04:38 PM
Seen this before. Low life single mom brings low life boyfriend home that only wants to get laid. Low life boyfriend resents the time that hot momma has to spend with her kid so kid gets 5 fingers of death. Hope baby daddy finds boyfriend and puts a couple of slugs in his brain. Also Judy Duvall, hope he finds you also. You are an accessory to child killing. You can only kill children before thay are born (according to progressives) not after birth. You are too late in this case.
Judy Duvall February 26, 2014 at 05:09 PM
Vito, I'm certainly no progressive. I'm as conservative as they come. However, I also am very old and know that lots of innocent people in this world, including here in the US, have gone to prison for long periods of time and then say 30 yrs later a guilt ridden witness will come forward and the convicted person is finally set free. As you weren't there, you didn't know that the father of the baby has never been in the picture. You actually don't know any of the facts of the case - really. The father of baby couldn't have cared less for his child and from day 1 was never in the picture. Testimony proved that the defendant had met the mother of baby at work: Disneyland. They moved in together to baby's biological grandfathers house and all lived together. Grandpa even admitted baby had recently hit head hard in front of him, too. Just way too many blows to head by others to prove this at all. As far as 'low life's' I doubt either mother of baby or defendant has a record at all. Vito, it must be wonderful to be young and so self assurred by reading one biased reporter's column. The Patch for years now, has been leaning toward the sensational. All I know is with the emotion of the subject, I believe this trial going in was a case of 'guilty until proven innocent.' So, perhaps you need to check your bias and try to understand why you have so much vitriolic anger in yourself. As a Christian, Vito, I'm going to pray for your judgement here. I can understand that maybe you are frustrated because we live in an awful world where bad things always happen. Having said this, just think that maybe it was a bad thing that this defendant was convicted of something he wasn't guilty of. Maybe he was just one very scared kid like the video tapes showed. I just ask you to pray about it and I'll pray that God reveals wisdom to you. My best to you. Judy
Vito Spago February 26, 2014 at 05:43 PM
Judy: What have you got to do with this. Any good lawyer should bring out the truth. Not a comment in the Patch.
Heidi Levick-Marshman February 27, 2014 at 12:18 PM
You obviously didn't HEAR the evidence since you said said you were in the court room for most of the trial. The most important thing we need to remember is Stephen himself changed his story twice and admitted to being with baby Kye when the injuries happened. There was never one single mention of falling down any stairs. Order the transcripts. The grandpa did not say he SAW Kye fall. He said that Stephen came out and TOLD him he fell off the couch while he was mowing the lawn. Order the transcripts. The text that he sent to the mother at 230am after he beat him actually said "your Damn kid fell off his bed again" Order the transcripts. Who does that when you know what you just did to that baby? It is fine that you see this differently but dont add things that weren't said or didn't happen.
Heidi Levick-Marshman February 27, 2014 at 12:24 PM
And nothing at all matters before that day. It does not matter that the biological father or his family had absolutely nothing to do with Kye by their own choice. It doesn't matter if mom didn't get tests done that would have proved that nothing was wrong with Kye. It doesn't matter how nice someone was to you at a family bbq...on Aug 13th 2011 someone made a big mistake and fatally injured a baby. That is all that matters today and 12 people decided he will pay for it. I always ask myself...what would you do if Kye was your baby. You would want justice. Ask yourself this question please and see how you feel
Melissa Anderson February 27, 2014 at 04:24 PM
Heidi, you were proven on the stand to be a liar. You changed your story your recorded statement to the police. Perjury is against the law or have you forgotten that. You should be ashamed of yourself along with Kim and Jazmin Payne who were also proven liars on the stand. You think jury tampering isn't going to be looked into by the judge, you think this is the end. There will come a day when the ACTUAL guilty parties will be held to answer for what they did and there will come a day when you yourself will have to face your maker and account for the lies and misleading you played in this matter. The truth will come out and Stephen Hoffman will go free.

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