Father to stand trial for murder in methadone death of baby daughter

Darian McWoods and Kamaya McWoods

PORTLAND, Ore. — The trial for a Portland man accused of killing his 1-year-old daughter by drug overdose is expected to start Wednesday.

Police arrested Darian McWoods after a three-year investigation into the death of his daughter, Kamaya, in 2013.

He’s being held without bail on murder, manslaughter, criminal negligent homicide and other charges in connection with the death.

READ MORE: Father denied bail while awaiting murder trial in death of baby daughter

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.

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

McWoods’ sister, Diamond McWoods, was also arrested in the case. She pleaded guilty to a perjury charge, stating she falsely said she was with Darian when he found Kamaya unconscious, and that she didn't start CPR. She may be called as a defense witness in her brother's trial, KATU News learned.

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 a judge that 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."

In a motion to support McWoods' request for bail back in June of 2017, defense attorney Josephine Townshend told KATU he is not responsible for his daughter's death. She said documents point out poor detective work.

In a statement, Townsend 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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