ALASKA – Just over three months ago, on February 2, Richard Tilden Jr. made a 911 call to report that the 3-year-old daughter of his girlfriend was unresponsive.
On Thursday, 28-year old Tilden made his way back into the courtroom for his last pre-trial appearance.
Tilden was in charge of the 3-year-old and her 12-month-old sister at the time of her death.
According to court documents, Tilden left both girls nude and in a closed door bedroom with a window open while it was negative 30 degrees outside.
When officers responded to the Momeganna Street apartment complex in Barrow, the eldest girl was cold to the touch. The youngest was bruised, had blood on her lips and was also hypothermic.
The 3-year-old was given CPR and rushed to Samuel Simmonds Memorial Hospital, where CPR was performed for three hours until her heart was able to beat on its own.
Both girls were then sent by medical evacuation to the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage, where the 3-year-old died.
Originally both Tilden and the mother of the girls, Esther Edwards-Gust, an elementary school teacher, were charged with two counts of felony assault, but since have been charged with more.
Tilden is being charged with two counts of second-degree assault, one count of first-degree assault, one count of second-degree murder, manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.
Edwards-Gust is being charged with two counts of second-degree assault, manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.
According to documents, Tilden had red watery eyes and smelled of alcohol when police arrived at their residents. Two bottles of Rich and Rare whiskey were also on the floor of the family’s home.
Tilden has a history of felony and misdemeanor offenses, according to court documents. He had been previously charged with first degree vehicle theft, fourth-degree assault, furnishing alcohol to a minor, selling alcohol without a license, importing alcohol to a dry area and breaking the city curfew in Dillingham.
Also Tilden has three previous DUI convictions.
Esdwards-Gust, was previously charged with a DUI.
The Fairbanks District Attorney's office has taken over the Tilden case and Tilden is now being defended by a criminal conflict attorney – they are used when there is more than one person being charged with a crime. Both people cannot be represented by the same group.
Tilden is set to face a grand jury May 14. Edwards-Gust won’t see a grand jury until August.