A California man could face the death penalty after officials say he tortured and killed a 16-month-old girl.
The suspect, Derrick Woods, also abused a 3-year-old boy, Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig said in a video announcing the charges.
Woods faces charges of murder — with a special circumstance of inflicting torture in the commission of the murder — assault on a child under eight with force likely to produce great bodily injury resulting in death and abusing or endangering the health of a child.
West Sacramento police went to check on the children at a motel on Feb. 15, according to police. There, they found a 3-year-old boy, Elijah, and a 16-month-old girl, Amanda, Reisig said.
Amanda died as a result of her injuries, Reisig said.
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Woods fled the scene before police arrived, and he was apprehended the next day, according to West Sacramento police.
"A loss of life in our community always hurts," West Sacremento Interim Police Chief Rob Strange said discussing the homicide case as well as a fatal collision. "Yesterday’s tragedies are even harder to bear with victims so young and innocent and a suspect still on the loose.
Reisig said the counts carry the death penalty, but prosecutors will decide later if they will pursue Woods' execution.
"No decision has been made on the penalty we will seek," Reisig said.
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