SMITHFIELD, N.C. - A Johnston County jury Thursday night sentences Jonathan Richardson to death in the murder of his girlfriend's daughter - Teghan Skiba, age 4.
On Thursday, attorneys made their final arguments inside a Smithfield courtroom in the death penalty phase of Richardson's murder trial. The jury deliberated for less than three hours, and just after 8 p.m. Thursday, jurors delivered the death sentence.
The same jury found Richardson guilty last week of first-degree murder, felony child abuse, kidnapping, and sexual offense with a child.
Prosecutors say Richardson brutally tortured Teghan over a 10-day period in 2010. Richardson was the boyfriend of Teghan's mother, Helen Roxanne Reyes, who was away for Army Reserves training. Teghan suffered cuts, bruises, a head wound and bite marks to her body. Richardson took the girl to the hospital, saying she had fallen off the bed. But doctors found injuries not consistent with that. Teghan died days later.
Richardson declined to address the court after the death sentence was read.