A Chandler meth head accused of murdering his 3-week-old daughter has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.
In addition to pleading guilty to murder, 27-year-old Brian Hopf pleaded guilty to child abuse for assaults that include poking the infant girl, Isabella, in the eyes.
Hopf was initially charged with first-degree murder and was deemed competent to stand trial in April.
Hopf was arrested in September 2009 after Isabella was admitted to a Chandler hospital with life-threatening injuries, including multiple skull fractures, fractured ribs, and trauma to her body.
Police told New Times at the time that the baby was unresponsive when she was admitted to the hospital. She died a week later.
Police also found evidence of sexual abuse, including injuries to her inner thighs and genitals.
Hopf, an admitted meth user, told police that he accidentally dropped the baby and poked her in the eye while feeding her, causing her to cry so hard she stopped breathing. Hopf claimed he started chest compressions on the girl, which may have caused some of the bruising. However, when the baby stopped breathing, he didn't bother to call an ambulance or to alert any of the other four adults in the home at the time.
The baby wasn't brought to the hospital until her mother noticed a large bruise on her eye.
Hopf has a history of domestic violence with the baby's mother. He also completed two years' probation for a credit-card-theft conviction.
Hopf's sentencing is scheduled for July 5 in front of Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Robert Gottsfield.
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