Capital murder trial of Auburn man begins Monday

Capital murder trial of Auburn man begins Monday

LEE COUNTY, AL (WTVM) - Trial for man accused of killing a 4-year-old little girl began on Monday in Lee County.

Jury selection is underway in the capital murder trial of 24-year-old Ramiro Delreal-Contreras.

In May 2012, Auburn investigators say Delreal-Contreras killed 4-year-old Ava Zapata by beating her to death.

Delreal-Contreras was the live-in boyfriend of the child's mother. Auburn police say he was babysitting the little girl, when he beat her severely, causing her to sustain significant injuries to her intestines that led to her organs shutting down.

Delreal-Contreras allegedly told investigators he accidentally kicked the little girl in her stomach while babysitting. Delreal-Contreras also told police he did not tell anyone because he thought Ava would get better.

He was arrested and charged with domestic violence assault after the Lee County Department of Human Resources notified Auburn police of a child with a serious injury being treated at the University of Alabama-Birmingham Hospital.

Ava died on a Sunday at UAB and charges were upgraded to capital murder.

Delreal-Contreras faces life in prison without the possibility of parole. The death penalty is not an option in his trial. He has been behind bars at the Lee County Detention Center since his arrest. He's being held with no bond.

News Leader 9's Elizabeth White will be in court covering the trial, and will have more details later Monday

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