A California man has been found guilty of murdering a baby girl by stepping on her and prosecutors revealed Friday that he told them he felt a sense of relief after committing the atrocious crime.
Daniel Ruiz of Hesperia killed one-year-old Scarlett by placing his foot on her chest and crushing her with the force of most of his 230-pound bulk while the baby's mother was out buying milk.
After crushing the baby, the San Bernadino County District Attorney said Ruiz flipped through channels on the television while Scarlett struggled desperately to breathe.
“The defendant stated that he actually felt better after stepping on the victim, as he sat there watching television,” Lead Deputy District Attorney Kathleen DiDonato said in a statement. “The whole time, Scarlett was behind him, lying on the floor trying to catch her breath. Fighting for her life.”
Ruiz had just gotten home from work on Aug. 28, 2013 when Scarlett's mother and Ruiz's girlfriend asked him to watch the baby.
“During his interview with law enforcement, the defendant stated that it felt as if the two ladies were taking advantage of him,” DiDonato said.
Scarlett was propped up on a pillow on the floor when Ruiz committed the act that would end her life.
“Scarlett began gasping for breath," the statement reads. She then had what appeared to be a seizure.
When the mother returned home, Ruiz told her the child was having a seizure but that he didn't know why.
The women were gone no longer than 45 minutes.
Ruiz later told police what he'd done.
The 25-year-old was convicted Thursday on one count each of Second Degree Murder and Assault on a Child Causing Death.
His sentencing hearing is scheduled for Jan. 15, 2016 in Victorville Superior Court. He faces 25 years to life in prison.