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WDAY: The News Leader

Published July 23, 2013, 09:37 PM

A man accused of murdering a toddler in Ada fired his attorney today

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV)-- A Dilworth man was expected to enter a guilty plea in Norman County court today, but that changed at the last minute.

By: Becky Parker, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV)-- A Dilworth man was expected to enter a guilty plea in Norman County court today, but that changed at the last minute.

Instead, 24-year-old Raul Perez, accused of murdering a toddler in Ada, fired his attorney.

Raul Perez was expected to make a plea in Norman County court today. Not only did he reject the plea agreement, he also fired his attorney.

Choosing instead to apply for a public defender, Perez released defense attorney William McKibbin.

Perez is charged with Second Degree Murder in the death of 22-month-old Ariel Reyes, who died of head and neck trauma last August.

Perez was living with the girl's mother, his girlfriend at the time, at an apartment in Ada.

She had gone to get groceries, he stayed at home, watching Ariel and her 5-year-old brother.

When police responded to a 911 call at the apartment, they found Perez trying to revive the girl.

She was taken by helicopter to Sanford in Fargo, where she was declared brain dead and died two days later.

In earlier interviews, Perez's family and friends insisted he is innocent.

Perez remains in custody on a million dollars bail.

Another hearing is scheduled for September ninth.

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