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Father faces life: Beat 4-year-old daughter with belt ‘so many times he lost count’
The father of a four-year-old girl who ‘beat her so many times with a belt he lost count’ has appeared in court charged with her murder.
Darrell A. Reynolds, 29, appeared on Thursday in the Macon County Circuit Court in Decatur, Illinois, over the death of his daughter, Amarrah, on August 31.
The 29-year-old is facing life in prison, longer than the usual maximum of 60 years, because his alleged victim was under 12 and ‘the death resulted from exceptionally brutal or heinous behavior indicative of wanton cruelty’,’ the Decatur Herald and Review reports.
The father confessed to the crime while the unresponsive four-year-old was being rushed to Decatur Memorial Hospital, telling police, ‘I just killed my daughter’, according to a affidavit signed by one of the officers.
When she arrived at the emergency room, the young girl had scabs and bruises covering most of her body.
He went on to say he lost count of how many times he hit his daughter with the belt, according to the newspaper.
Amarrah’s mother, Dalvon Taylor, 26, is due to be arraigned on one count of endangering the life or health of a child on Friday.
If found guilty, she could be sentenced to between two and 10 years in prison.
The mother told police Reynolds had abused their daughter regularly over the past two years.
Taylor said the abuse: ‘typically consisted of Darrell hitting Amarrah in the face and torso, hitting her forcefully with a belt numerous times, which caused welts to her arms, back, legs, and torso, severe pinching, and grabbing the back of her neck and lifting her off the ground’, according to the Herald and Review.
Reynolds is due to return to court for a preliminary hearing on September 28.
He is being held in jail on a $2 million bond.
A GoFundMe page has been created to help Amarrah’s family cover the cost of her funeral.