A Federal Way-area man pleaded not guilty Thursday to a charge of second-degree murder in the death of his girlfriend's 2-year-old daughter.
Ron Wallace Jr. entered his plea at the King County Courthouse in Seattle. He is being held in King County Jail in lieu of $2 million bail.
Wallace was watching the child while his girlfriend was at work Nov. 21. After first saying he found the child unresponsive when he went to wake her, Wallace admitted to detectives he became frustrated with her because she had soiled her diaper.
According to a report from the King County Sheriff’s Office, Wallace punished her by hitting her six or seven times with a belt. He also shook and slapped her repeatedly, the report said.
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Wallace called for medical aid to the residence in the 36200 block of 21st Place South, just outside the city limits. The child was transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where she died.
Wallace has two prior assault convictions. If convicted of second-degree murder, he could be sentenced from 12 years to 20 years, four months in prison.