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GREAT FALLS - A Great Falls man accused of killing a 3-year-old girl pleaded not guilty Thursday to murder and solicitation of tampering with evidence.

Jerimie Hicks, a 22-year-old airman based at Malmstrom Air Force Base, is being held at the Cascade County regional detention center on $760,000 bail.

Prosecutors say Kaelyn Bray, the daughter of Hicks' girlfriend, suffered severe brain injuries Feb. 26 while Hicks was the sole person in charge of her care. Kaelyn died a few days later.

According to court documents, Hicks said the girl was injured when a puppy knocked her down some stairs. But police soon became suspicious because the dog was fine and the stairs were covered in plush carpet.

Police say Hicks later told them he pushed Kaelyn against a wall because he was frustrated with the fussing toddler after feeding her.

Hicks was charged with tampering for allegedly using a jail phone to ask his father to delete two e-mail accounts and profiles on two social-networking Web sites.

 

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