LANCASTER – A Lancaster man pleaded not guilty Thursday to the kidnapping and attempted murder of an 18-month-old girl who was strapped into a car seat and left in a shed in Palmdale last month.
Brandon Michael Wynn, 33, also is charged with forcing the girl’s mother and another woman into prostitution. And he is charged with kidnapping and brutally assaulting the girl’s mother shortly before the girl’s abduction.
Wynn allegedly broke into the woman’s home and physically and sexually assaulted her, then some time later kidnapped her, doused her with bleach and left her tied up and naked in the desert, according to Deputy District Attorney Theodore Swanson.
Soon afterward, Wynn allegedly kidnapped the woman’s toddler from another location and left the child alone inside a shed in Palmdale, according to the prosecutor.
After an extensive search, Wynn was eventually spotted July 18 in a car with a 16-year-old boy, according to the sheriff’s department.
Wynn told deputies that the toddler was nearby in the shed, and two sheriff’s sergeants and a deputy rushed to the scene, where they found the child suffering from heat exposure and dehydration and still strapped into a car seat, according to the sheriff’s department.
The girl was taken to a hospital for treatment and then put in the custody of the Department of Children and Family Services.
Sheriff’s investigators pointed out that had the weather in the Antelope Valley been more typical, the child could have died. An unusual rainstorm lessened the effects of the heat.
Wynn pleaded not guilty Thursday to one count each of attempted murder, child abuse, first-degree residential burglary, forcible oral copulation, assault to commit a felony during the commission of a first-degree burglary, assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury and assault with a deadly weapon, along with two counts each of kidnapping, human trafficking to commit another crime and pimping.
Co-defendant Regina Renee Estorga, 44, is charged with two counts of human trafficking to commit another crime and one count each of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury, assault with a deadly weapon, pimping and kidnapping involving the woman. Estorga — who was arrested July 24 by Los Angeles police — is not charged with the baby’s kidnapping. Estorga pleaded not guilty to her charges on July 27 and she appeared in court Thursday, but her preliminary hearing was postponed, according to Ricardo Santiago of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Both Wynn and Estorga are due back in a Lancaster courtroom Sept. 24, when a date is scheduled to be set for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to require them to stand trial.
Previous related story: