Trial begins for Alpine man accused of killing girlfriend’s toddler

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EL CAJON, Calif. -- Attorneys gave opening statements Monday in the trial for a man accused of killing his girlfriend's daughter.

Prosecutors say 28-year-old Wiliey Foster is facing a murder charge in the death of 18-month-old Leah Brown-Meza, whose body was found in a motorhome in Alpine back in December of 2016.

Lillie Brown, the toddler's mother, was staying in the motorhome which was parked next to a home belonging to Foster’s family.

In the days prior to the Leah's death, prosecutors say she suffered a burn on her foot, a broken arm and head injuries.

“At one point, Lillie said ‘we got to take her to hospital.' The defendant told her ‘No. If we take her – CPS is going to get involved. They'll take her away from you, thinking you abused her,'" said Deputy District Attorney Chantal De Mauregne.

Defense attorneys portrayed Brown as a negligent mother with a drug problem.

"She didn't want to seek medical care for that child because the father of that child was trying to get custody away from her. He felt she was a bad mother because he thought she was using drugs," said defense attorney Jan Ronis.

Prosecutors say the night before the toddler was found dead, Foster told Brown to take a shower and that he would feed the child and put her to bed in the motorhome.

Prosecutors say Foster returned to the main home and stayed there for the night as Brown went to bed in the motorhome assuming her daughter was safe asleep, but did not check on the child.

Late the next morning, the mother discovered the child was blue and cold. She alerted Foster who called 911.

Prosecutors say the child’s blood was also found on Foster’s clothing.

He was arrested and charged with murder.

“Detective Patterson is telling him ‘calm down - a baby died today.’ And he says, ‘I have more important things to worry about than a dead baby,'" said De Mauregne.

Brown was also charged with child endangerment and plead guilty. She has not been sentenced.