News Releases

September 30, 2013: Mother’s Boyfriend Charged in Toddler’s Death

Shiara Dávila-Morales, Media Chief
(213) 257-2000

A Palmdale man accused of fatally beating his girlfriend’s 2-year-old daughter is expected to be arraigned this afternoon, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Alisanne Scolnik of the Antelope Valley Branch said Matthew Albert Worthen, 23 (dob 1/4/90), is charged with one count each of murder and assault on a child causing death.

The defendant, charged in case MA060933, is expected to appear in Department 1 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Antelope Valley Branch. Prosecutors have recommended the defendant’s bail be set at more than $1 million.

Worthen allegedly assaulted the girl, identified in the complaint as Zanai N., on Sept. 22, while the toddler was left in his care.

When the child’s mother returned home, the girl appeared to be having difficulty breathing and was taken to a local hospital where she died, prosecutors said.

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