Man Ordered to Stand Trial in 2-Year-Old Son’s Death

Man Ordered to Stand Trial in 2-Year-Old Son’s Death

A general view of Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Los Angeles on Sept. 20, 2021. (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

City News Service

City News Service

12/17/2023

Updated: 12/17/2023

LOS ANGELES—A judge ruled Dec. 15 that there was sufficient evidence to require a Los Angeles man to stand trial in connection with the death of his 2-year-old son.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Michael E. Pastor rejected a defense motion to dismiss the case on Friday against Durrell Diontae Daniels, who is charged with one count each of murder and assault on a child causing death.
The case against Mr. Daniels, now 35, stems from the June 6, 2019, death of his son, Legacy, who was one of a set of triplets.
An autopsy concluded that the toddler died from drowning by being intentionally submerged in a bathtub and blunt head trauma, according to Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Hatami.
Anise King testified during the hearing that she was asked that day to perform CPR on the boy, but said she didn’t touch him because he already seemed dead. She described the father’s demeanor as “very” calm.
Paramedics were subsequently sent to the apartment in the 200 block of South Whitmer Street after 911 was called.
Los Angeles Police Department Noe Lopez told the judge that Mr. Daniels told him that he had been in the bathtub with his two sons and that the toddler was splashing water and began choking.
Another LAPD officer, Christina Johnson, also testified that Mr. Daniels subsequently told her that his two sons were splashing around in the tub and that Legacy began choking after being splashed with water.
In emotional testimony, the toddler’s mother, Tywona Wade, told the judge that Mr. Daniels had taken the two boys from her as she returned from the store about a week and a half earlier, and that she had told him that morning that the boys should be home with her for her 10-year-old child’s graduation.
“I wanted my kids, period,” she said. “He knew that.”
When asked if they weren’t seeing eye-to-eye, she responded, “It’s still like that, period. We’ve never seen eye-to-eye.”
Mr. Daniels was arrested by Los Angeles police in October 2020 and remains behind bars in lieu of $2 million bail, according to jail records.
He is due back in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom for arraignment Jan. 4.
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