A St. Paul man has been indicted on charges of first-degree murder in the beating death of his 13-month-old daughter in Cottage Grove.
Angel Daniel Ramirez, 19, will face one count of murder while committing child abuse and a second count of murder while committing domestic abuse, a grand jury determined last week.
The indictment replaces a lesser charge, filed in Washington County in September 2014, of second-degree murder without intent.
Court records show that on the morning of March 15, 2014, police were called to a house on S. 84th Street in Cottage Grove, where they found the child lying on the kitchen floor.
Identified as A.A.R., she was bruised and not breathing, and was pronounced dead after being taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul.
The girl's mother told police that she had last seen her alive at 4 a.m. that day. The mother also said, according to a criminal complaint, that she began noticing injuries a few days earlier but that Ramirez assured her the girl fell against a door while learning to walk.
An autopsy showed swelling of the brain, internal bleeding, and bruises on the back of the girl's head and both sides of her jaw. Blood was found on her clothes, blanket and crib.
Dr. Michael McGee, Ramsey County medical examiner, concluded that she died of "blunt force traumatic injuries" inflicted over time. He told investigators that no injuries consistent with falling were discovered on the girl.
According to the complaint, Ramirez sent a message to the mother on Aug. 24, 2014, in which he admitted hurting the girl. "Okay, I did it. I beat Amelia. I blacked out and I beat her. I don't remember how," he wrote.
He also admitted to punching her in the stomach and head, dropping her off the bed on her head, throwing a bottle that hit her in the eye, and pulling her ponytail so hard that hair came out of her head.
"He stated that he did not know his own strength," the complaint said.
District Judge Gary Schurrer set bail on July 23 at $1.5 million. Ramirez, who remains in custody in the Washington County jail, will make his next court appearance on Aug. 19.
Conviction on a charge of first-degree murder in Minnesota means a mandatory life sentence without parole.