A Virginia man pleaded no contest to first-degree murder and was sentenced to more than 20 years in prison after allegedly trying to exorcise a demon from his 2-year-old daughter and killing her in the process.
Eder Guzman-Rodriguez, 30, believed his daughter, Jocelyn, was possessed, so he decided to punch and choke her until she died.
Jocelyn's injuries included fractured ribs, abrasions, contusions on a lung and hemorrhages. Her official cause of death was manual asphyxiation, WTSP reported.
“I didn’t mean to kill the baby,” Guzman-Rodriguez told police after the 2011 incident. “I didn’t mean to choke her.”
Floyd County Commonwealth’s Attorney Stephanie Shortt said when a deputy responded to a call reporting a dead child, he saw “several Hispanics holding Bibles” standing on the deck of a mobile home. Jocelyn was found in the master bedroom wrapped in a blanket and surrounded by several Bibles and “other religious literature.”
“I know I am the one who hit her,” Shortt said Guzman-Rodriguez told police. “I was the only one there. The demon used my body to kill her.”
Guzman-Rodriguez, who is not a U.S. citizen, will be deported after he serves his sentence. His wife, Carmen Nolazco, was exonerated of all charges because Guzman-Rodriguez had beaten, kicked and strangled her before he attacked Jocelyn.
“It’s a horrible family tragedy,” said one of Guzman-Rodriguez’s lawyers, Jonathon Venzie. “They’re all victims. Poor Carmen was living the dream — she was married, she had a child, a home, and in one second, she lost everything. My heart goes out to Carmen.”
He added that Jocelyn was “cute as a button and loved by everyone.”