JOHNSTON COUNTY, N.C. - A North Carolina man has been found guilty of sexually abusing and murdering a 4-year-old girl.
ABC affiliate WTVD reports that a Johnston County jury spent just more than an hour Tuesday to reach a unanimous verdict in the trial of Jonathan Richardson.
Richardson is convicted of first-degree murder, felony child abuse, kidnapping, and sexual offense with a child in the death of 4-year-old Teghan Skiba. He may face the death penalty.
According to prosecutors, Richardson tortured, sexually assaulted and beat Skiba over a 10-day period in July 2010 while the child's mother was at another state for Army training. Richardson, who was 21 at the time, was the mother's boyfriend.
"It didn't end until he beat her brains so badly that she lost consciousness," said Johnston County Assistant District Attorney Paul Jackson.
Richardson then took Skiba to a hospital and claimed the child had fell off her bed, prosecutors said. But doctors later found cuts, bruises, a head wound and even bite marks on her body, WTVD reports. Skiba died a few days later.
The defense said Richardson never meant to kill Skiba. Richardson shook the little girl too hard, causing brain injuries, and waited too long to get help, the defense told the jury.
For more information, visit WTVD.
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