Avondale Man Gets Life for Murder of Girlfriend's 3-Year-Old Daughter

An Avondale man convicted of murdering his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter was in Maricopa County Superior Court this morning where Judge Janet Barton sentenced him to life in prison.

Alvaro Holguin Duarte pleaded guilty to the 2008 murder of Alisandra Oliviana Romero, his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter.

On November 17, 2008, police were called to Duarte's home, where he was babysitting his girlfriend's six children.

When paramedics arrived, they found little Alisandra not breathing and covered in bruises.

Duarte told investigators he slapped the girl when he realized she had soiled herself. However, one of the girl's siblings told police he watched Duarte stomp on the girl's chest.

Duarte could have faced the death penalty had he not accepted a plea deal sparing him a spot on death row.

"It's better than getting the death penalty, or potentially getting the death penalty and the anxiety that's involved because you don't know what's going to happen," Duarte's attorney, Robert Storrs, told a reporter after his client pleaded guilty in January.