Winters man held to answer on murder charges; accused of drowning 4-year-old daughter

National Mortgage News

| Winters man held to answer on murder charges; accused of drowning 4-year-old daughter

Gruesome details surrounding Markeese Carter — a man charged with first-degree murder of his 4-year-old daughter — unfolded at the Yolo County Courthouse when Yolo County Sheriff’s detective Juan Ceja delivered his testimony.

Ceja informed the court that three different prescription drugs were found in Aminatu-Amaya Abdul-Raafi’s system, along with markings near her anus indicative of penetration.

Now, in addition to murder and resisting arrest, Carter faces a felony count of sexual penetration of a minor under age 10.

Ceja talked the Department 13 courtroom through each of his interactions with Carter and Carter’s family members during a Friday preliminary hearing.

Carter — age 26 and a Winters resident — fought with his wife two nights before the Nov. 19 murder, arguing over Amaya and their unborn infant’s paternity, Ceja testified. Carter believed she cheated on him with his friend. Carter was picked up by his mother Nov. 18 and left to her Winters home, taking his two daughters, Amaya and their 2-year-old, with him.

The following Sunday, he planned a lunch for the three of them at the creek near his mother’s house. Carter told Ceja that he mixed pills into Amaya’s peanut butter and jelly sandwich, saying “he planned to kill her.”

“He was going to say a friend kidnapped his daughter and sexual assault would be the motive,” Ceja explained. “Then he penetrated her anus five times with his left index finger.”

But the “plan changed,” and Carter tossed Amaya into Putah Creek. After, he jumped in and threw her back to shore, performing CPR to make it “look like he saved her,” Ceja testified.

However, during cross-examination Deputy Public Defender Ron Johnson raised concerns of mental health conditions Carter suffers from, which include blackouts, PTSD and schizophrenia.

Throughout the hearing, a bearded Carter wore a gray and blue jumpsuit. He sat next to Johnson, burping, sighing and scribbling onto a legal notepad, then crumpling up papers — making noise as his chains clinked against the table.

Johnson wondered why Ceja failed to investigate “voices in Carter’s head,” telling him one of his children “had to go,” during law enforcement interviews.

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“At the time of the interview, that questioning didn’t come up,” Ceja said.

Ceja mentioned that throughout each of the three interviews he conducted with Carter, the defendant provided different explanations each time for what happened to his daughter that day.

In one story, Carter said Amaya was playing and jumped into the creek. In another, he blacked out and “came to” when she fell in the water.

“He became irritated when we questioned him about anal penetration,” he noted, which led to Carter lunging at Ceja during their second interview, leaving Ceja with an injured lip. Ceja recalled Carter’s body movements calling them “sporadic” though he wasn’t combative in their third interview.

He also mentioned that Carter planned to blame his “friend” Tony Diaz for the crime — which Johnson pointed out is the street name near Carter’s detention facility in Woodland.

Though a Pennsylvania laboratory determined six pills were found in Amaya, one doctor called the dosage level “a therapeutic amount,” Ceja added. However the doctor also noted “a four year old shouldn’t have it their body,” he continued.

As the hour and a half long case came to an end, Carter seemed reluctant to stand and return to his cell. After three bailiffs circled Carter, he stood — jerking away in a temper tantrum like motion. The group then hurriedly moved Carter through a secured door.

This wasn’t the first time Carter demonstrated difficulties with courtroom appearances. At his first Nov. 22 arraignment hearing, camera crews from around the region arrived to see Carter, only to capture disappointment as he didn’t appear in court.

The night of Amaya’s murder, deputies arrested Carter after arriving on scene and conducting a short investigation. According to Sgt. Matt Davis, deputies were dispatched to the area of Owings Court and Shams Way, just southeast of the Interstate-505 and Russell Avenue overcrossing after a report of a possible drowning at Putah Creek.

Deputies arrived to find the child unresponsive. The child was immediately taken to an unidentified hospital by emergency medical services. She was pronounced dead after lifesaving measures failed.

Judge Paul Richardson found sufficient evidence during the preliminary hearing to hold Carter to answer on all charges. He scheduled an arraignment hearing for 8:30 a.m. on Dec. 22 in Department 1.

http://www.thereporter.com/general-news/20171209/winters-man-held-to-answer-on-murder-charges-accused-of-drowning-4-year-old-daughter

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