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Bail set at $500K for ex-NFL player accused in 5-year-old’s death

A judge set bail at $500,000 on Wednesday for a former professional football player charged with murder in the death of his girlfriend’s 5-year-old daughter.

In setting the bail for 28-year-old Cierre Wood, District Judge Michael Villani pointed to “at least 100” bruises on the body of 5-year-old La’Rayah Patra Nicole Lamont Davis. The girl also suffered 20 broken ribs, a lacerated liver, along with contusions on other vital organs.

Wood and the girl’s mother, Amy Taylor, 26, both face a charge of first-degree murder along with 20 counts of child abuse.

Taylor remains in Clark County Detention Center without bail.

Defense attorney Thomas Ericsson had asked the judge for a $75,000 bail, arguing that Wood was working full-time in the health care industry at the time of his arrest and has lived in Las Vegas for three years.

“He has a lot of very positive things going on in his life,” Ericsson said.

Ericsson added that Wood, a former running back for Notre Dame and practice squad player on several NFL teams, tried to perform CPR on La’Rayah and called 911 on April 9 after the girl was unresponsive.

Ericsson also pointed to Taylor’s statement to police, in which she said Wood had “so much patience” with La’Rayah.

But Chief Deputy District Attorney Michelle Jobe argued that Wood delayed in calling 911, instead “trying to fix the situation himself.”

The prosecutor said both Wood and Taylor contributed to injuries La’Rayah suffered over the course of two weeks before she died, which “indicate a pattern of physical abuse of being hit, of being punched, of being forced to endure things that are just beyond words.”

Taylor told police she disciplined La’Rayah by sitting on her and with spankings, using her hand or a belt. Taylor also said she left the girl with Wood while at work one day and returned home to find her “mutilated,” according to Jobe.

Wood told police he preferred exercise to spanking because La’Rayah was not his daughter.

Wood told police that he made the girl do sit-ups and run laps in an apartment as punishment, according to an arrest report. He chose that method because he was trying to get her “on the right path due to her being ‘chunky,’” he told detectives.

Contact David Ferrara at dferrara@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039. Follow @randompoker on Twitter.

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