Former Notre Dame RB Cierre Wood indicted on murder and 20 child abuse charges

Yahoo Sports Contributor
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Cierre Wood was the No. 2 rusher on Notre Dame's 2012 team that reached the national championship game. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)
Cierre Wood was the No. 2 rusher on Notre Dame's 2012 team that reached the national championship game. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

Former Notre Dame and NFL running back Cierre Wood has been indicted on murder and 20 child abuse charges in the death of his girlfriend’s 5-year-old daughter, the Associated Press reports.

Wood’s girlfriend, Amy Taylor, was also reportedly indicted on the charges.

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Taylor’s daughter, La’Rayah Davis was found dead on April 9 in the couple’s apartment. After a week of investigations, prosecutors revealed that Davis had allegedly gone through a sickening amount of abuse before her death.

Former Notre Dame RB and girlfriend accused of horrific abuse

Per the AP, a judge who heard evidence against Wood and Taylor last month said “it was clear that La’Rayah suffered before she died.”

Numerous external bruises on the girl’s abdomen, back, arms and legs backed up that assessment. An autopsy reportedly found that Davis had 20 newly broken ribs, internal bleeding, a lacerated liver and bruises to her heart and diaphragm.

Taylor reportedly told police that she sat on her daughter to discipline her a week before her death.

Wood’s alleged part in the child’s pain was using forced exercise to discipline the 5-year-old, making her do wind sprints, sit-ups and wall sits to address what he claimed to be behavioral issues, according to TMZ. He reportedly called the child “chunky” and termed his discipline as “learning through fun.”

Wood reportedly admitted that the child flailed backward and hit her head against the floor after being unable to complete a second set of sit-ups on the day of her death. She reportedly swayed and collapsed after getting up. She was pronounced dead soon after.

Per his lawyer, Wood reportedly plans to plead not guilty at his arraignment on July 2.

Wood was a 1,000-yard rusher at Notre Dame

Wood gained notoriety as the No. 2 back on the 2012 Notre Dame team that reached the national championship game, splitting carries with current Detroit Lions running back Theo Riddick. He eventually left after three seasons at Notre Dame, going undrafted.

Wood never saw success in his NFL career, posting only 12 rushing yards and no touchdowns while bouncing between the Houston Texans, New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks and Buffalo Bills before ending up in the Canadian Football League.

His football career effectively ended when he was released by the Montreal Alouettes in May 2018.

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