Virginia man sentenced to prison for daughter's death during exorcism

Associated Press/June 3, 2013

Floyd, Virginia - A Virginia man who said his 2-year-old daughter was possessed by a demon has been sentenced to more than 20 years in prison for her death.

Thirty-year-old Eder Guzman-Rodriguez was sentenced Monday in Floyd County after pleading no contest to first-degree murder. His daughter, Jocelyn, was found dead in November 2011.

Prosecutors say Guzman-Rodriguez told police that his daughter had a demon inside of her and that he had attempted to exorcise her of the demon.

Commonwealth's Attorney Stephanie Shortt said the first deputy who arrived saw "several Hispanics holding Bibles" standing on the deck of the mobile home.

The toddler's body was found on a bed in the master bedroom, wrapped in a blanket and without a pulse. The room was in disarray with several Bibles and "other religious literature," Shortt said.

According to Shortt's summary of the evidence, Guzman-Rodriquez told police that a "bad spirit" had entered him. He said that he saw his daughter gesturing to him, as if she wanted to fight and that he punched her "over and over" with his bare hands, Shortt said.

Jocelyn's injuries included fractured ribs, abrasions, contusions on a lung and hemorrhages. Her cause of death was manual asphyxiation.

The Roanoke Times reports that Guzman-Rodriguez is originally from Mexico and will be deported after serving his time.

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