More charges likely after Knoxville boy dies of severe injuries

More charges likely after Knoxville boy dies of severe injuries

Tyrail Cooke (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office) Tyrail Cooke (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office)

6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A Knoxville child was pronounced dead around 10 a.m. Tuesday after suffering several severe injuries Saturday.

Knoxville police say five-year-old Robert Reyes suffered the injuries at the hand of his mother's live-in boyfriend, Tyrail Cooke, 23, of Knoxville.

Police say the incident occurred in the mother's apartment in Cassell Ridge Apartments around 12:30 Saturday afternoon.

Cooke is charged with one count of aggravated child abuse, along with simple possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.

He is being held in lieu of $151,400 total bond at the Knox County Detention Center.

Police say the charges will likely be changed now that the boy has been pronounced dead.

According to the police report, Cooke confessed to pushing the boy into a TV stand in their apartment on Cassell Valley Way, where the boy struck his head twice.

Cooke told police he then lifted the boy over his shoulder and threw him to the ground.  

The police report details several more traumatic injuries inflicted by Cooke.

Cooke told police Reyes appeared "lifeless" and was "gasping for air."

"When we got there, we found a 5-year-old child that was unresponsive. The child was transported to Children's Hospital," said Knoxville Police spokesman Darrell DeBusk.  

Residents at Cassell Ridge Apartments in North Knoxville say they are in shock, left with no idea on how a five-year-old was beaten to death at their apartment complex.  

"This has everybody wanting to grab their children and keep their children close," said Anne Brunno.    

"It's horrible and disgusting how people can do something like that. It's not right," said Zackery McFalls.  

Several neighbors said they didn't know the mother or Tyrail Cooke, but many said the family had just moved there.  

"She's probably been out here for a month, maybe if that long. I'm usually at work. I very seldomly see them at all," said Danielle Poacy, a Cassell Ridge Apartment resident.

Cooke has a prior criminal history.    

He was charged with disorderly conduct in 2009 and was charged and pleaded guilty to driving without a license in 2011.  

In 2008, Cooke was charged with domestic assault, after a live-in girlfriend alleged Cooke pushed and choked her.  

The two had a child together, according to a Knox County General Session Court deposition.  The assault charges were later dismissed.  

Department of Children Services spokesperson Brandon Gee confirmed the department is investigating the death of Robert Reyes.

Gee said there are no previous cases involving Tyrail Cooke and Robert Reyes.  

Gee adds since 2008 there have been child abuse investigations involving the Reyes family, which includes the child's mother, Amy Reyes. 

There have been different investigations involving Tyrail Cooke dating back to 2004, but Gee would not say how many different investigations took place.

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