According to the court documents, the 27-year-old defendant was found guilty on the charge of capital murder of a child under 10 in the 2019 death of his girlfriend’s 2-year-old daughter. He was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole on Wednesday. Prosecutors say the 2-year-old girl was beaten to death because she put her shoes on the wrong feet.
The 2-year-old girl’s mother, Ashley Marie McAlpine, was charged with felony first-degree injury to a child with the intent to cause serious bodily injury. She’s pleaded not guilty. She is currently being held on $500,000 bond and is scheduled to appear for a pre-trial hearing on Oct. 29.
Officers and EMS personnel were dispatched to the home in Texas around 3 a.m. on Sept. 22, 2019 after receiving a call about an unresponsive child. Upon arriving at the scene, first-responders found the 2-year-old girl, Shannah McAlpine, not breathing. Prosecutors say the 2-year-old victim was covered in bruises.
Investigators discovered that the incident began when her mother’s boyfriend, Jadin Nunez, became upset with the child over her shoes. The family was preparing to go to the store to purchase items in preparation for her birthday party when the defendant lashed out at the little girl.
Prosecutors say the 2-year-old girl had her shoes on the wrong feet and the defendant then hit her on her face. He then grabbed her and held her up in the air before he punched her three times in her stomach and dropped her to the floor.
After he struck the little girl, her mother then brought Shannah out of the room and put her in bed. The defendant followed them and choked the little with both hands, until she turned blue. The choking went on for a couple of minutes, the victim’s mother told authorities. When the defendant finally stopped, the victim gasped for air and curled up into the fetal position.
The 2-year-old girl woke up around 2 a.m. and complained of stomach pain. She was not breathing right, the mother said. Her stomach was swollen. The mother called 911 after seeing that the 2-year-old girl couldn’t stand on her own. The child was pronounced dead at 3:30 a.m.
Prosecutors say the 2-year-old child’s death was a homicide caused by blunt force trauma to the abdomen. This story will be updated as new information become available.