Dad accused in death of toddler by drug overdose asking judge for bail

Darian McWoods. (Photo: Multnomah County Sheriff's Office)

A Portland man accused of killing his 1-year-old daughter by drug overdose is asking a Multnomah County judge for bail while he awaits trial.

On Wednesday morning, a judge will decide if he qualifies for bail.

Police arrested Darian McWoods, now 24, last December on murder by abuse, manslaughter and criminal negligent homicide charges in connection with the death of his daughter, Kamaya, in 2013.

After a 3-year investigation, detectives gathered enough evidence to charge McWoods with his daughter’s death.

McWoods filed a request for a bail hearing in April.

Under Oregon law, if a defendant is charged with murder, aggravated murder or treason -- and when the proof is apparent -- release is denied. However, a defendant can request a “bail hearing" if proof is not evident. After reviewing evidence and listening to arguments, a judge decides whether the defendant qualifies for bail.

Prosecutors argue McWoods should stay in jail until his trial begins next January.

An autopsy revealed Kamaya died by methadone, a strong synthetic drug used in the treatment of heroin and morphine addiction.

Prosecutors said doctors told them the amount was significant enough to slow or stop Kamaya's breathing.

Court documents say McWoods "had access to pain pills and also liked to do Molly," the street name for ecstasy.

As the Oregonian first reported, prosecutors told the judge Monday McWoods sometimes mixed his drugs into kid-friendly drinks, such as Capri Sun juice pouches.

Prosecutors say McWoods also used dangerous tactics like "holding Kamaya down to get her to go to sleep."

On the night of Kamaya's death, prosecutors say McWoods was home alone with his daughter.

McWoods' defense attorney Josephine Townshend told KATU he is not responsible for his daughter's death.

In her motion to support McWoods' request for bail, documents point out poor detective work.

In a statement, Townshend told KATU, "There were many other factors that could've contributed to the death that weren't considered."

Documents prepared by Townshend say it's not stated when or where the 1-year-old obtained the methadone.

Documents also claim that police singled out McWoods early on in the investigation because he has a history of hurting children.

In 2011, he pleaded guilty to criminal mistreatment and assault charges in the abuse of his son.

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