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California man convicted for killing toddler by placing foot on her chest, ‘pressing down’

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Scarlett, left, and Daniel Ruiz are seen in photos released by the San Bernardino County district attorney’s office. (Photo: KTLA)

Scarlett, left, and Daniel Ruiz are seen in photos released by the San Bernardino County district attorney’s office. (Photo: KTLA)

HESPERIA, Calif. — A 25-year-old Hesperia man was convicted Thursday for killing a 1-year-old girl by crushing her chest with his foot in August 2013.

Daniel Ruiz was found guilty on second-degree murder and assault on a child causing her death, KTLA reported. Ruiz was watching a friend’s two children on Aug. 28, 2013, while she and his girlfriend went to the store to buy milk.

The two women were gone about 30 to 45 minutes when Ruiz committed the crime. He walked to the toddler, Scarlett, by the television.

“He then placed his left foot on her chest, applying most of his 230 pounds of weight on her body,” Kathleen DiDonato, a lead deputy district attorney who prosecuted the case, said in the statement to KTLA. “Scarlett began gasping for breath.”

Ruiz took his foot off Scarlett’s chest and went to change the channel on the TV. When he turned around, he saw Scarlett having a seizure. He tapped her cheek to get her to “snap out of it,” according to KTLA.

The was taken to the hospital where she died a short time after.

Ruiz initially claimed he didn’t know what happened and just saw the toddler having a seizure. Autopsy later revealed how 1-year-old Scarlett died.

Ruiz is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 15. He is facing 25 years to life in state prison.