Palmdale man charged in fatal beating of 2-year-old girl

A Palmdale man accused of fatally beating his girlfriend’s 2-year-old daughter has been charged with murder and assault, prosecutors said Monday.

Matthew Albert Worthen, 23, allegedly assaulted the girl, identified in court records as Zanai N., Sept. 22 while the toddler was left in his care, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Alisanne Scolnik. When the child’s mother returned home, the girl appeared to be having difficulty breathing and was taken to a hospital, where she died, she said.

Worthen appeared in an Antelope Valley courtroom Monday and was held in lieu of $1 million.

If convicted as charged, Worthen faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison. The case is under investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.


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