Jadin Nunez

Jadin Nunez

A Killeen man will be spending the rest of his life behind bars after a jury found him guilty of the capital murder of a 2-year-old child in Temple two years ago.

Jadin Nunez, 27, was booked into the Bell County Jail on Sept. 24, 2019, after police said that a few days prior, he had beaten a girl to death because she had put her shoes on the wrong feet. Shannah McAlpine was just days away from her third birthday when she was killed on Sept. 22, 2019.

Last week, after a three-day trial in the 426th Judicial District Court, a jury on Wednesday found Nunez guilty and sentenced him to life in prison with no chance of parole.

A co-defendant in the case, Ashley Marie McAlpine, who is the child’s mother, was booked into jail on Dec. 17, 2020, after she was charged with injury to a child. Ashley McAlpine, 29, was being held in the Bell County Jail in lieu of a bond of $500,000, on the first-degree felony charge.

She has pleaded not guilty and has a pre-trial hearing set for Oct. 29, in the 426th Judicial District Court, according to court records.

Nunez was Ashley McAlpine’s boyfriend who lived with her and her children in Temple. Police said that Ashley McAlpine knew her children — including Shannah’s sister — were beaten by Nunez, but said she would not stop him, according to a Child Protective Services report.

Sept. 22, 2019

Temple police were dispatched to a medical emergency call in the 800 block of South 11th Street. When they got there, the 2-year-old girl was found covered in bruises and not breathing. Investigators with the Criminal Investigations Unit began an investigation into the girl’s death because the cause wasn’t known.

An investigation revealed that Nunez beat and choked the child. The autopsy report said Shannah McAlpine died of blunt force trauma to her stomach, according to an arrest affidavit.

The violence that led to Shannah’s death began over shoes on the wrong feet, an investigator with Texas Department of Family & Protective Services said in his report that was obtained by FME News Service.

The family was getting ready to go to the store to get things for a birthday party for Shannah and her brother, according to the document. The girl had her shoes on the wrong feet, and Nunez then hit her on her face. She fell, and Nunez grabbed her and held her up in the air before he punched her three times in her stomach and dropped her to the floor, Ashley McAlpine told investigators.

Police said that Ashley McAlpine took Shannah from the room and put her on a bed, but Nunez came in and reportedly choked Shannah with both hands. She turned blue, but Nunez kept choking her for a couple of minutes, her mother said. McAlpine said she yelled and tried to pull him off her daughter, but she couldn’t. When he finally quit choking her, Shannah gasped for breath and curled into a “ball” position, her mother said.

At about 2 a.m., McAlpine said she woke up and Shannah was crying. She tried to get her to eat and drink something. Then she saw that Shannah’s stomach was swollen and hot — but the rest of her body was cold. She put Shannah in the shower to try to warm her up, but Shannah could not stand on her own and was not breathing right.

Soon after that was when she called 911 — at about 2:49 a.m.

Shannah was pronounced dead at 3:31 a.m.

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