POLK COUNTY, Ga. - A Cedartown man charged in the murder of a Polk County toddler is facing the death penalty.
Dustin Drew Putnal is accused of murdering Ella Grayce Pointer, who was just 21-months-old when she died. Monday morning in court, an attorney for Putnal said the State intends to seek the death penalty.
"Ella Grayce was so precious, such a beautiful child. She was always laughing and giggling and playing," said grandmother Dorothy Garner.
On October 28, 2016, Polk County Police and EMS personnel were dispatched to Putnal’s apartment at 45 Adamson Drive where they found the child not breathing. She was taken to Polk Medical Center in critical condition and then flown to Egleston, where she later died.
The girl’s grandfather said the family was told by staff at the hospital that the girl had been beaten and assaulted. According to police, she had possibly been sexually assaulted and suffered severe head trauma.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation was called in to assist the Polk County Sheriff’s Office with the investigation.
According to police, Putnal is facing a number of charges including murder, felony murder, two counts of aggravated child molestation, aggravated sexual battery and felony cruelty to children.
Putnal was the boyfriend of Ella Grayce's mother. He's set to return to court in July.