Man sentenced to life for murdering girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter

An Albany man pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison on Friday for the 2013 murder of his girlfriend's daughter, 3-year-old Aniya Zamora.

David Gene Elliott, 29, received a presumptive sentence of life imprisonment. He will not be eligible for parole for a minimum of 25 years.

Elliott also pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree assault of his girlfriend's son, 5-year-old Xadrian Zamora. For those crimes, he was sentenced to 13 months for each count. 

A grand jury indictment issued in July accused Elliott of recklessly causing the death of Aniya by having engaged in a pattern of assault or torture of the girl and her brother, Xadrian. The document also accused Elliott of murder by neglect or maltreatment and causing physical injury to Aniya.

Aniya's mother, Mercedes Alvarado, 25, already is serving a 10-year sentence for manslaughter in the death. She was found guilty by jury earlier this summer and sentenced June 30.

Aniya was found face down in a bathtub at home on April 16, 2013, and died four days later. Elliott was the one who found Aniya floating face down in the bathtub after leaving her alone while she bathed.

According to Clifford Nelson of the State Medical Examiner's Office, Aniya died of cerebral anoxia due to near drowning after blunt force abdominal trauma. Her death was ruled a homicide.

During Alvarado's trial in June, Alvarado told the jury she had no idea Aniya had been physically abused before she was placed in the bathtub that day. She also testified that Elliott — her live-in boyfriend at the time — had previously spanked and disciplined her children and that he had sworn at them.

A camera phone video, recorded in February 2013 by Elliott, showed Aniya and Xadrian repeating racial slurs and swear words spoken by Elliott to the camera.

During the eight-minute video, Elliott referred to the children with multiple racial slurs, instructed them to wrestle, and told them to call their mother derogatory names.

The Statesman Journal contributed to this report.

KGW


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