Knoxville man acquitted of felony murder of 5-year-old

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KNOXVILLE (WATE) – A jury acquitted a Knoxville man of a felony murder charge in the fatal beating of a 5-year-old boy.

Instead, 25-year-old Tyrail J. Cooke was convicted on reckless homicide and aggravated child abuse in the 2012 death of Robert Reyes.

According to the initial investigation, Cooke confessed to shoving his live-in girlfriend’s son into a television stand where the boy hit his head twice before hitting the ground.

Police say Cooke then threw Reyes to the ground from shoulder height and said he hit the boy’s head against a bathtub several more times.

Reyes suffered severe trauma and had bruises all over his body. He was transported to the University of Tennessee Medical Center where he died three days later on Oct. 23, 2012.

At the time of the beating, Cooke lived with the child’s mother on Cassell Valley Way.

Cooke also had other bouts with the law, ranging from drug possession charges and domestic abuse charges in 2008 where his live-in girlfriend alleged Cooke choked her. The tow have a child together, but the charges were eventually dismissed.

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