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PROVIDENCEâ€”In the company of an interpreter, Jorge DePina of Pawtucket pleaded not guilty in Superior Court on Thursday to murdering his 10-year-old daughter, Aleida.
The 32-year-old DePina had been indicted by a grand jury on one count of murder in the death of the young Baldwin Elementary School student on or about July 3, 2013. On that date, DePina had brought his daughter to Miriam Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Her cause of death was ruled to be blunt force trauma to her small intestine, and police, prosecutors and medical professionals have said there were signs of severe abuse on the girl's body.
A half dozen court officers surrounded the shackled DePina for his brief appearance before Judge John F. McBurney. Accompanied by his attorney, the native of Cape Verde entered a not guilty and also agreed to the state's request that he remain held without bail at the ACI pending an April 21 pre-trial conference.
A spokeswoman for the attorney general's office said the state might pursue a sentence of life without the possibility of parole, and has 20 days in which to make this determination.