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Hesperia Man Who Crushed Toddler to Death Sentenced

HESPERIA-( A 25-year-old man who stepped and pressed down on the chest of a one-year-old girl was convicted on Thursday and sentenced on Friday. The jury found the man, identified as Daniel Ruiz guilty of second-degree murder and assault on a child causing death. On Friday, he was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

The case goes back to August 28, 2013, when Daniel Ruiz returned home from work and his girlfriend was not home. He went located her at her friend Andrea’s apartment. The two asked him to watch Andrea’s two kids so they could go to the store to pick up milk. “During his interview with law enforcement, the defendant stated that it felt as if the two ladies were taking advantage of him,” said Lead Deputy District Attorney Kathleen DiDonato, who prosecuted the case.

Scarlett, the victim was left in his care for 30-45 minutes according to court testimony. DiDonato said that Ruiz approached Scarlett, who was propped up on a pillow on the floor watching television. “He then placed his left foot on her chest, applying most of his 230 pounds of weight on her body,” DiDonato said. “Scarlett began gasping for breath.”

Ruiz released his foot, and walked over to the tv and flipped through channels for 2-3 minutes. He turned around to noticed that Scarlett was having what appeared to be a seizure. A few minutes later her mother returned to the home so he ran outside to tell her that the baby was having a seizure. The mother grabbed the baby and ran her over to the fire station across from the home. Scarlett was transported to the hospital where she succumbed to what later determined to be internal injuries.

In the beginning, Ruiz maintained the story that he was unaware of anything happening to the small child prior to the seizure. Through further investigation, Ruiz admitted to stepping on the small child because he was stressed and felt that he was being taken advantage of.

“The defendant stated that he actually felt better after stepping on the victim, as he sat there watching television,” DiDonato said. “The whole time, Scarlett was behind him, lying on the floor trying to catch her breath. Fighting for her life.”

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