Lee Co. DA closes case on man accused of killing child

Lee Co. DA closes case on man accused of killing child

LEE COUNTY, AL (WTVM) - Late Thursday afternoon, the Lee County District Attorney's office wrapped up its case against Ramiro Delreal-Contreras.

He's accused of murdering his girlfriends 4-year-old daughter in 2012.

Prosecutors saved their star witness, one of the states top experts on child abuse injuries, for the very end. She testified the defendants version of events isn't believable.

Dr. Melissa Peters is the top child abuse expert at Children's hospital in Alabama. Her speciality is telling if a child's injury matches with the reported cause of the injury.

She testified the defendants story that Ava ran into his leg full force, causing him to accidentally kick her in the stomach, was not plausible considering how severe her injuries were.

Peters examined 4-year-old Ava Zapata and testified her injuries were more consistent with the force of a violent car crash or a horse stomping on her abdomen.

The Medical Examiner who performed Ava's autopsy testified her small intestine was severed in half. He testified kids can recover from an injured intestine, if a doctor is given timely information about the injury.

The defendant admitted to kicking Ava full force, saying it was an accident. He also admitted he did not tell anyone about the kick to Ava's stomach because he thought she'd get better. She died of multiple organ failure at UAB several days after her injury.

The defense will begin its case Friday morning.

It is not known if Delreal-Contreras will take the stand in his own defense. He faces life in prison without parole if convicted of capital murder.

The district attorney said after careful considering and input from Ava's family, the difficult decision was made to not seek the death penalty.

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