A former NFL player has been charged with murdering his girlfriend’s 5-year-old daughter.
Cierre Wood and his girlfriend Amy Taylor, 25, were arrested on April 10 after Taylor’s girl La’Rayah Davis died at Summerlin Hospital in Las Vegas.
Wood was initially charged with first-degree child abuse but was charged with first-degree murder after La’Rayah’s death was ruled a homicide by the Clark County coroner’s office. Taylor was also charged with first-degree murder.
— KTNV Action News (@KTNV) April 15, 2019
Prosecutors had asked for bail for the pair to be set at $1 million each but Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Melanie Tobiasson ordered them held without bail on April 16, reported the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
La’Rayah suffered a lacerated liver, contusions to her diaphragm and lungs, and had visible injuries from her forehead to her thighs, Chief Deputy District Attorney Michelle Jobe said in court. Tobiasson, the judge, said she’d seen pictures of the injuries. “Once you see them, you can’t unsee them,” the judge said.
Taylor told police that she’d been dating Wood for about half a year and that she and her daughter had moved in with him after about one month. Taylor said she would spank La’Rayah as punishment but Wood preferred to make the girl exercise as a form of discipline, describing it as “learning through fun,” according to an arrest report obtained by KVVU-TV.
Taylor told officers that she and Wood were walking La’Rayah to school on April 9 when the girl bit Taylor on the hand so she “popped” her, explaining that she spanked her on the bottom. When they got home, she spanked Davis three more times and made her stay in the corner before letting her take a nap.
Ex-Notre Dame football player Cierre Wood has been charged with the murder of his girlfriend’s 5-year-old daughter. Documents reveal he forced the girl to exercise at home as punishment because he thought the girl was overweight. https://t.co/TJQFdP7WPu
— WSBT (@WSBT) April 16, 2019
Wood came home from work later that day and made the girl stand in the corner while he changed. He told police that he then tried to help her with her homework but she wouldn’t cooperate, so he made her do sit-ups. When she struggled to do the sit-ups, he made her run from one wall to another. She slipped, fell backward, and hit her head on the floor. Wood said he thought Davis was faking her injury but when she stumbled while getting up, he noticed she was breathing heavily. He put her in the shower and tried to perform CPR after putting her on a bed before calling 911.
Wood told police that he was “trying to get her on the right path due to her being chunky,” according to the arrest report, reported News 3. Police also said that the girl’s mother once sat on her chest and stomach as a form of punishment.
Her father Danaun Davis, who lives in California, told the broadcaster that he can’t believe his daughter died.
“She had so many people that she touched, and she’s only 5. Her not to be alive and how much life she had. That’s the tragic thing about it,” he said. “She can’t be there no more. I can’t call her no more. Never thought I’d bury my child at 5 years old.”
“It’s disgusting and it’s heartbreaking,” Mallay Crownover, a family friend, added about the alleged murder.
Wood played for Notre Dame and left school a year early to enter the NFL draft. He went undrafted but played for several teams starting in 2013, including the Houston Texans, New England Patriots, and Buffalo Bills.