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Mother charged with murdering 2-year-old daughter

Kamilah Russell was pronounced dead at the hospital Tuesday afternoon.

March 12, 2010 7:40:43 PM PST
A 19-year-old pregnant woman was arraigned today on a murder charge for the death of her 2-year-old daughter in Oakland on Tuesday.

Tiffany Lopez, who was dressed in red jail clothes and was brought into court in a wheelchair, nodded her head to indicate that she understood when Alameda County Superior Court Judge Robert McGuiness read the charge against her and told her he is referring her to the public defender's office to see if someone there will represent her.

McGuiness ordered Lopez, who is being held without bail at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, to return to court at 2 p.m. Monday to finalize her legal representation and possibly enter a plea.

About eight family members and friends of Lopez attended the brief hearing today but they declined to talk to reporters.

Oakland police spokesman Jeff Thomason said their department received a 911 call at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday reporting that Lopez's daughter, Kamilah Russell was not breathing. Kamilah was with Lopez at the apartment in the 2800 block of High Street where they lived with Russell's father, Joseph Russell Jr., who wasn't at home at the time.

Kamilah was taken to Children's Hospital in Oakland, where she was pronounced dead at 5:35 p.m. Tuesday. Oakland police haven't disclosed her cause of death.

Lopez was arrested at 2:03 a.m. on Wednesday after being interviewed by police, according to Thomason.

Oakland police spokeswoman Holly Joshi said Lopez moved to Oakland from San Mateo about three weeks ago and is three months pregnant.

According to San Mateo County Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe, Lopez also faces two counts of misdemeanor child endangerment and one count of misdemeanor interfering with a police officer during the performance of his duties in connection with an incident in San Mateo on Dec. 24.

Wagstaffe said the alleged victims in the incident were Lopez's 11-year-old brother and a daughter who was 4 months old at the time.


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