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Marine, facing murder charge, given discharge

Published December 09. 2010 05:00PM

A local marine charged in the death of an 18-month-old child in California has been dishonorably discharged.

Joshua Kruzik, 21, a 2007 graduate of Panther Valley High School, is awaiting extradition from a civilian jail in North Carolina to San Bernardino County in California where he faces numerous charges including willful injury to a child resulting in death.

Kruzik, a former corporal stationed at New River Air Station in Jacksonville, N.C., was staying with friends while on a training mission in Twentynine Palms, Calif. last month when the baby's death occurred.

According to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's office, the baby's death occurred on Nov. 20.

Police were called to the home of Timothy and Melissa Allen, both Marines stationed in Twentynine Palms but living off-base, at about 10:20 a.m. on Nov. 20. There they found Audrey Allen, 18 months, in her crib and not breathing. Kruzik was at the home and reportedly had given CPR to Audrey until paramedics arrived.

She was pronounced dead at 5 p.m. the same day in a hospital. A coroner determined the baby died of blunt force trauma, the sheriff's office said.

Kruzik was arrested on Nov. 30 in North Carolina.

An extradition hearing is scheduled this week. If Kruzik waives extradition, he could be returned to California sometime next week.

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