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Originally published October 27, 2012 at 9:33 AM | Page modified October 27, 2012 at 9:40 AM

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Jury convicts woman of killing Lakewood toddler

A Pierce County jury has convicted a 29-year-old woman in the killing of a 3-year-old girl, rejecting her claim that the family dog was responsible for the fatal injury.

The Associated Press

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TACOMA, Wash. —

A Pierce County jury has convicted a 29-year-old woman in the killing of a 3-year-old girl, rejecting her claim that the family dog was responsible for the fatal injury.

The News-Tribune says ( http://is.gd/ZKxx1r) Leanne Bechtel broke down in tears Friday as Superior Court Judge John McCarthy read the verdict.

Autumn Franks died in April 2008 of a massive skull fracture. Bechtel had contended the family's hyperactive pit bull knocked the girl off the couch and she landed on her head. Bechtel was living with Autumn's father in a Lakewood apartment at the time of the girl's death.

Prosecutors argued the girl died of a violent assault at Bechtel's hands.

Bechtel will be sentenced Nov. 16 on one count of second-degree murder.

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Information from: The News Tribune, http://www.thenewstribune.com

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