Former Notre Dame and NFL running back Cierre Wood, who was charged in the murder of his girlfriend’s 5-year-old daughter, believed the child was “chunky” and forced her to do sprints, sit-ups and squats as punishment before her death, authorities said.
Wood, 28, and Amy Taylor, 25, both face murder and child abuse charges after La’Rayah Davis was pronounced dead at Summerlin Hospital in Las Vegas on April 10. The child had died with extensive internal injuries, including a lacerated liver, broken ribs and severe injuries from her forehead to her thighs.
Wood told police he made the young girl run sprints in the apartment, do sit-ups and wall squats, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported, citing an arrest affidavit. He called the fitness punishments "learning through fun." Wood told police that he was “trying to get her on the right path due to her being chunky.”
The day she died, La'Rayah fell backward while doing sit-ups and hit her head on the carpeted floor. Unable to reach Taylor by phone, Wood said he tried splashing water on the girl’s face and blowing air into her mouth. When a “chunky red fluid” came out of her nose, he said he called 911 and performed chest compressions, FOX5 Las Vegas reported.
Taylor told police she was at the grocery store at the time, and later said she had sat on her daughter’s chest as a punishment about a week before her death. She said her daughter had complained of chest pains and stopped eating full meals in the days before her death.
“I honestly feel like when I sat on her I [explicit] her up…And now I don’t have a child now,” she told police.
Both Wood and Taylor were held without bail. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for May 21.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.