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Couple refuse to plead in Boise boy’s death

BOISE — The mother of an 8-year-old boy found dead in an Idaho canal and her live-in boyfriend refused to enter pleas to first-degree murder charges during an arraignment Thursday.

Thirty-year-old Melissa Jenkins and her boyfriend, 36-year-old Daniel Ehrlick Jr., were arrested last month in the death of her son, Robert Manwill.

Fourth District Judge Darla Williamson entered not guilty pleas on their behalf.

An Ada County grand jury indictment says the boy was tortured, beaten repeatedly and ultimately killed by Ehrlick Jr.

The indictment accuses Jenkins of hiding her son’s injuries from government officials who could have intervened, as well as aiding and abetting her boyfriend in the death.

The couple also face charges that they failed to report the boy’s death.