UPDATE: First-degree murder and other charges were filed Monday against a Palm Desert man accused of tossing his 1-year-old daughter to her death from a cliff south of the Coachella Valley after stabbing the child’s mother.
Adam Slater, 49, was arrested Thursday night in connection with a sequence of events the previous day that included two separate stabbing attacks culminating in a rollover car crash on Highway 74 near the community of Pinyon Crest, where he allegedly threw his daughter over “a steep cliff into a ravine,” according to Riverside County sheriff’s Sgt. Ben Ramirez.
Slater, who is a registered sex offender, also faces charges of assaulting a child under 8 years old resulting in death, attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and a special circumstance allegation of committing a murder during the commission of a kidnapping, making him eligible for the death penalty if the district attorney’s office opts to pursue it.
Slater, who’s being held at the Indio jail in lieu of $1 million bail, is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon at the Larson Justice Center in Indio.
ORIGINAL: A father who allegedly tossed his 1-year-old daughter to her death from a cliff after stabbing a passerby attempting to rescue her from a car crash on Highway 74 is behind bars Friday on suspicion of murder.
Adam Slater, 49, of Palm Desert was arrested Thursday night following a short stay at a local hospital where he was treated for injuries connected to the crash that happened Wednesday, according to Riverside County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ben Ramirez.
Jail records show he was booked at the Indio jail on suspicion of second-degree murder, attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon, where he remains on $1 million bail. He could be charged as soon as Monday.
Prior to the events on Highway 74, a stabbing was reported about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday in the 41000 block of Washington Street, outside the Southwest Community Church in Indian Wells, where deputies located an injured woman who was taken to a hospital with non-critical injuries, authorities said.
Reports show Slater and the woman — who was six months pregnant at the time of the attack — were married, and the 1-year-old daughter was theirs together. The woman has since been released from the hospital after suffering multiple stab wounds, the outlet reports.
Following the alleged attack, authorities say Slater sped away in a vehicle with the child.
Deputies learned soon afterward that a rollover crash reported about 9 a.m. near the community of Pinyon Crest on Highway 74 could be connected to the original call.
According to sheriff’s officials, passing motorists attempted to help Slater and his daughter escape the wreckage, but Slater allegedly stabbed one man attempting to help rescue his daughter.
“The suspect then took the girl from the arms of the male he stabbed. Multiple witnesses saw the suspect take the child and throw her over a steep cliff into a ravine,” the sheriff’s department said.
The child, whose name was not released, died from her injuries at the scene, officials said.
Authorities say Slater then ran down into a canyon, where deputies later detained him after a short foot chase.
It was unclear if the man he stabbed required medical treatment.
Officials did not disclose a motive in the crime, nor was the cause of the crash immediately known, if any other vehicles were involved or if drugs and/or alcohol were a factor.