LANCASTER ( —  An Antelope Valley man was charged Monday with fatally beating his girlfriend’s  2-year-old daughter.

Matthew Albert Worthen, 23, has been jailed on $1 million bail while facing murder and assault charges.

The arraignment was scheduled for Oct. 16 in Lancaster Superior Court.

Worthen allegedly assaulted the girl, who is identified in the criminal complaint as Zanai N., while the toddler was left in his care Sept. 22, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

When the girl’s mother returned home she noticed the girl was having difficulty breathing. The toddler was taken to a local hospital, where she died, according to prosecutors.

If convicted, Worthen faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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