Largo man faces first degree murder

LARGO — A Largo man admitted slamming a toddler against a wall and a chair, police said, and was arrested Sunday on a charge that he killed the baby girl.

Joel Adrian Cruz, 27, faces a first-degree murder charge after he and his girlfriend brought the mortally injured 2-year-old early Sunday to All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, police said.

According to police, he and his girlfriend, Karina Mora, brought Mora’s daughter, Ananhie Fernandez, to the hospital in critical condition. The child had “severe injuries to the chest cavity and no independent brain function,” police said.

Sunday evening, the toddler was declared dead and the charge police sought against Cruz was upgraded to murder. He was being held without bail in the Pinellas County Jail.

Read more on this story at