(WWBT) - A public petition now carries thousands of signatures calling for the public hanging of a West Virginia man accused of causing a baby's death after sexually assaulting her.
According to a report shared by NBC affiliate WEYI, 32-year-old Benjamin Taylor now faces first-degree murder charges after the nine-month-old girl died Wednesday.
The petition had nearly 40,000 signatures by Friday morning after being created Wednesday. In the petition, the author said "incarceration is hardly justice when it comes to such an awful act."
The county sheriff called the injuries from the sexual assault "the most severe" he'd ever seen.
Family members told the Charleston Gazette-Mail that doctors pronounced the infant brain-dead Tuesday, and she was taken off life support on Wednesday.
"I've been here 25 years and we've never encountered something of this nature," Jackson County Sheriff Tony Boggs said. "I don't know if we've had anything like this near here."
Copyright 2016 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved