Murder, sexual assault trial of girl, 3, moves forward

FRESNO, Calif.

Prosecutors say Cheary brutally attacked his girlfriend's daughter, /*Sophia Acosta*/ back in May 2011. Investigators say the injuries ultimately caused her death.

Several family members have declined to listen to the proceedings in court because of the graphic nature of the evidence.

Still, they say they are happy the case is finally moving towards the trial stage. If Cheary is convicted he could face the death penalty.

Prosecutor David Alavezos said, "Any person who is charged with a special circumstance who is an adult has the potential to face the death penalty that decision has not been reached yet but that certainly is a potential at this point."

Victim's great grandfather, Sam Coronado said, "Today was a little relief you know… the family is going to be happier they're still in a daze, it's been really hard for everybody.

Cheary will be back in court next month to be arraigned on the charges.

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