Markeese Carter was a no-show at his arraignment Wednesday on charges he murdered his 4-year-old daughter as Yolo County prosecutors declined to file sexual assault and child endangerment charges on which Carter was arrested.
Carter will return to Yolo Superior Court on Dec. 8 on the murder charge and a second count of resisting arrest. He remains held without bail in Yolo County custody. Prosecutors may add charges at a later date, Yolo County Chief Deputy District Attorney Johnathan Raven said Wednesday, adding that detectives continue to investigate the child’s death.
Meantime, Carter’s uncle, Shaun Carter, addressing reporters outside the courtroom before the hearing, told of the toll levied in the last few days, adding “we need to understand what the real story is,” alluding to prosecutors’ decision not to file sex assault charges.
Deputies were called to Owings Court and Shams Way in Winters about 5 p.m. Sunday on a report of a possible drowning in Putah Creek, a short distance away. Emergency responders rushed the girl to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead. Sheriff’s detectives later arrested Carter.
“We’re struggling. It’s very hard on the family, hard on both sides,” Shaun Carter said. “My nephew is a loving son and nephew,” adding that he suffered from what he said were mental health issues stemming from time in boot camp during a stint in the National Guard. He didn’t elaborate.
But, he told reporters and the court of public opinion in the emotionally charged case to “hold on a minute. We’re going to get to the bottom of it.”
As a gaggle of news photographers waited for Carter, 26, to appear before Yolo Superior Court Commissioner Kent O’Mara, Yolo County Deputy District Attorney Robert Gorman said that Carter “was not cooperating with bailiffs. That’s only what I heard, not what I’ve seen.”
Carter’s attorney, Yolo County Deputy public defender Ron Johnson, confirmed, asking O’Mara to waive Carter’s initial appearance.
Investigators still are seeking a motive in the child’s death. A coroner’s official on Tuesday said an official cause of death awaits toxicology and other results.