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More charges expected for ex-NFL player in Las Vegas girl’s death

A former NFL player is expected to face 10 new charges in the death of a 5-year-old girl, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Cierre Wood, 28, already faces a charge of first-degree murder along with nine counts of child abuse.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Michelle Jobe is expected to argue for the 10 new child abuse counts at a Wednesday hearing. The possible addition came after a lengthy preliminary hearing Tuesday in which a Clark County medical examiner testified that La’Rayah Patra Nicole Lamont Davis, the daughter of Wood’s girlfriend, Amy Taylor, had scratches and bruises over her entire body along with contusions on her organs and fractures to most of her ribs.

Taylor also faces murder and child abuse charges in the girl’s April 9 death, but her attorneys opted to postpone her preliminary hearing.

La’Rayah died of multiple blunt force injuries, according to the Clark County coroner’s office. Her death was ruled a homicide.

Wood’s attorney, Thomas Ericsson, tried to steer testimony toward statements Taylor made to police about sitting on the girl.

But the medical examiner, Chiara Mancini, said that small bruises on La’Rayah’s body were not consistent with such punishment.

Wood, a former running back for Notre Dame and several NFL teams, is being held without bail at the Clark County Detention Center.

Stephen Palenske, a Las Vegas fire captain, testified Tuesday that he had responded to a call at an apartment in the 9500 block of West Charleston Boulevard and noticed at least 50 bruises on the girl’s body.

Palenske said that after La’Rayah was rushed to Summerlin Hospital Medical Center, where she died, he noticed a change in the demeanor of Wood and Taylor.

Without tears in his eyes, Wood stood away from Taylor, appearing angry, outside an examination room where La’Rayah was treated, the captain said.

“They didn’t hug each other; they didn’t hold hands; they didn’t console,” Palenske said. “It was like they were two separate people outside that room.”

Taylor told police she disciplined La’Rayah with spankings, using her hand or a belt. Wood told police he preferred exercise to spanking because La’Rayah was not his daughter.

Wood told police that he made the girl do situps 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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