Las Vegas Sun

October 14, 2019

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Ex-NFL player, girlfriend indicted in child death case

Cierre Wood

Cierre Wood

Amy Taylor

Amy Taylor

A former pro football player and his girlfriend have been indicted on murder and 20 felony child abuse charges in the death of the woman's 5-year-old daughter, court officials said Tuesday.

A scheduled bail hearing for former NFL and Canadian Football League running back Cierre Marcelle Wood was called off after his case was moved to state court for trial with the child's mother, Amy Taylor, on charges that could get each of them life in prison if they're convicted.

Wood, 28, plans to plead not guilty at his arraignment July 2, said Wood's lawyer, Thomas Ericsson.

Taylor's public defense attorneys didn't immediately respond to telephone and email messages.

Wood was arrested April 10, a day after Taylor's daughter, La'Rayah Davis, was found lifeless in Wood's apartment. She was pronounced dead at a hospital.

A judge who last month heard evidence against Wood declared it clear to her that La'Rayah suffered before she died and that Wood and Taylor were responsible for the "untimely and horrific" death.

Taylor and her daughter had moved in with Wood and his young daughter March 27. La'Rayah died less than two weeks later.

The judge cited photos of numerous external bruises from what were described as finger-pokes to the girl's abdomen, back, arms and legs — along with autopsy findings that La'Rayah had 20 newly broken ribs, internal bleeding, a lacerated liver and bruises to her heart, diaphragm and connective tissue.

Wood played for the University of Notre Dame before NFL stints with Houston, New England and Buffalo. He was released by the Montreal Alouettes in Canada in May 2018.

Ericsson said he worked in Las Vegas as a health care associate.

Taylor told police she sat on the girl while disciplining her about a week before her death, according to court documents.

Wood told police he used exercise as discipline, and had La'Rayah do exercises including running sprints in the apartment. He said the day she died, La'Rayah fell backward while doing sit-ups and hit her head on the carpeted floor.

Taylor told police she was at a grocery store at the time.