WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Yolo County District Attorney filed charges against 43-year-old Derrick Woods of West Sacramento in the death of 1-year-old Amanda Marie Owens.
In a virtual hearing on Thursday, Woods plead not guilty to five felony charges including torture, assault, and murder.
Yolo County DA Jeff Reisig announced charges against Woods in a formal criminal complaint earlier this week. His office alleges Woods committed murder with a special circumstance for inflicting torture, endangering the health of a child with an enhancer for infliction of great bodily injury on a child under the age of 5, and assault on a child under 8 with force likely to produce great bodily injury resulting in death.
“As charged, this is a capital case, but no decision has been made on the penalty that we would seek should Mr. Woods be convicted on all qualifying charges,” Reisig said in a video press release.
He also briefly outlined Woods’ alleged crime, stating that two children were found at Silvey’s Motel. One was injured and the other was deceased. Woods’ family does not believe he committed the crimes.
“They don’t deserve this and that baby did not deserve this,” his mother said. “But I feel for that lady, for her babies.”
A vigil was held for the child at Silvey’s Motel on Tuesday night.
“[Amanda] didn’t get to know everybody, she didn’t get to know life,” the child’s aunt said. “When I got to see her she was happy.”
Woods is currently being held without bail in the Yolo County Jail. He’s been barred from contacting the mother of the deceased children and is set to return to court on April 2.