Surviving infant twin, 9-year-old girl to remain in state custody.

Date: 2006-02-14

Byline: Martha Deller

Feb. 14--A baby boy whose twin brother died last week of head injuries and a 9-year-old girl who lived in the same home will remain in state custody while an investigation of the baby's death continues, a Johnson County judge ruled Monday. The surviving twin will be returned to Michigan, the home state of the 12-week-old boys who were being adopted by David and Latresa Giddens of Cleburne, said a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Police arrested David Giddens on Friday, a day after infant Nicholas Hoffert died. Giddens remained in the Johnson County Jail on Monday with bail set at $150,000. He faces a charge of injury to a child.

Authorities removed Nicholas' twin and the older girl, who had been adopted by the Giddenses, from the home Friday. At a hearing Monday, visiting Judge Kit Cooke examined pictures of the surviving twin's injuries, which include old rib and femur fractures, said department spokeswoman Marissa Gonzales. Investigators have not determined who caused those injuries, she said. Officials found no injuries to the girl, she said. Latresa Giddens attended the hearing but did not testify.

A hearing was set for Feb. 24 to determine with whom the girl will live, Gonzales said. Because the twins' adoption had not been completed, the state of Michigan retains legal custody, she said. Martha Deller, (817) 390-7857 mdeller@star-telegram.com

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