West Virginia man charged with raping, murdering nine-month-old girl

October 6, 2016 3:30 PM EDT

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(Editor's note: Story contains details that will disturb some readers)

(Reuters) - A West Virginia man accused of sexually assaulting a 9-month-old girl who later died from her injuries was charged on Thursday with first-degree murder.

The suspect, Benjamin Taylor, 32, is accused of attacking the baby of his girlfriend, Amanda Adkins, in the basement of an apartment they shared in Jackson County, according to court documents.

Taylor, of Cottageville, 38 miles north of the capital Charleston, was found on Monday with the child, who was unresponsive and covered with blood, according to a court document. Taylor was found with blood on his body and told a sheriff's detective that he had "blacked out."

The girl died on Wednesday. An initial medical exam showed extensive injuries to her lower body and other injuries, including a skull fracture and widespread bruising, according to the court document.

Taylor had been charged with first-degree sexual assault and was arraigned in Jackson County Magistrate Court on the murder charge on Thursday.

The incident has sparked outrage, with Taylor's Facebook page filled with hundreds of posts violently condemning him. A petition to the White House asked for Taylor to be publicly hanged and was posted on Wednesday. It has drawn 3,110 signatures.

West Virginia does not have the death penalty.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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