REDWOOD CITY — Northern California prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for a 29-year-old man charged with sexually assaulting and killing his girlfriend's child.

The San Jose Mercury News reported Wednesday that the San Mateo County district attorney's office charged Daniel Contreras with first-degree murder for the August 2015 death of a 17-month-old girl his girlfriend left in his care.

The prosecutors allege Contreras sexually assaulted the infant before beating her to death because she wouldn't stop crying. Contreras called his mother and claimed the infant fell from a changing table. An autopsy showed multiple skull fractures and the coroner ruled the death a homicide.

Contreras' attorney James Thompson said the case doesn't warrant execution because the infant's death was unintentional.

Legal challenges have put executions in California on hold since 2005.


Information from: San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News,