Raeford, N.C. — Wearing a bulletproof vest, a Fayetteville man charged with the murder of his toddler and infant daughters made his first court appearance on Monday morning in Hoke County.

Tillman Freeman III stabbed his 2-year-old daughter Serenity Freeman and 4-day-old daughter Genesis Freeman on Friday, according to authorities. Their bodies were found at about 2 a.m. Saturday inside a car off the side of the road near the intersection of N.C. Highway 211 and Army Road.

Sheriff Hubert Peterkin said the killings were motivated by Freeman thinking his wife was cheating on him and that the children were not his. Both children were stabbed multiple times with a hunter’s knife, Peterkin said.

Freeman’s hearing on Monday took only about 7 minutes.

“I’d probably tell him that I hope somebody beats him every day he’s locked up,” said James McGeachy, Freeman’s brother-in-law. “This is ridiculous. I mean, you hurt two kids that’s innocent. I mean, even if the mom, you is mad at the mom, the kids didn’t have nothing to do with it. They didn’t have nothing to do with that.”

Peterkin said there have been several threats made against Freeman on social media, and that he is taking the appropriate actions to keep him safe while he awaits trial.

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