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South LA mother to stand trial in 4-year-old daughter's beating death

CBSLA.com: The Rundown (May 5 AM Edition) 02:11

A South Los Angeles woman was ordered Wednesday to stand trial on murder charges in the death of her 4-year-old daughter back in August of 2020.

Akira Smith, 36, is accused of fatally beating her 4-year-old daughter on Aug. 11, 2020. She faces one count each of murder, torture and assault on a child causing death.

Following a preliminary hearing, L.A. County Superior Court Judge Michael E. Pastor Wednesday found there was sufficient evidence to require Smith to stand trial.

The criminal complaint alleges that Smith was convicted in 2016 of assault with a deadly weapon and in 2014 of injuring a spouse, cohabitant, fiance or boyfriend.

In court Tuesday, the Eternity's oldest brother, now 18, testified that his mother kept "slapping and slapping" Eternity the day of her death, and that he also saw his mother choking his sister and "kicking her while she was on the floor."

The young man -- who said he told his mother to stop -- testified that his mother eventually went to her room while he checked on his sister who was on the floor in the hallway. He said he subsequently told his mother that the girl's stomach was moving in a weird way.

"My mom told me to get her some food. She didn't want any of it," the girl's oldest brother testified, adding later that his mother also told him to get some water for her.

"We called the ambulance to come and hurry up," he said.

Matthew Holguin, a paramedic with the Los Angeles Fire Department, testified that the girl was pale, cold and wet when he responded to the home about 5:12 p.m. that day, and that family members said they had poured water on the girl in an effort to wake her up.

"It just seemed very calm in the house," Holguin told the judge, noting that it was unusual under the circumstances.

The girl was rushed to a hospital, where she died.

Officers took the girl's three siblings into protective custody and released them to the L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services, according to the LAPD.

Smith was arrested the following day and has remained behind bars since then. She remains jailed on $3 million bail. Her arraignment is scheduled for May 18.

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