Arkansas teenager, 19, pleads guilty to murder charge in death of 4-month-old daughter

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SEARCY, Arkansas — A 19-year-old White County man has been sentenced to 40 years in prison after pleading guilty to first-degree murder in the death of his 4-month-old daughter.

The Daily Citizen reports that Dustin Lee Watson was sentenced after pleading guilty Monday in White County Circuit Court in Searcy.

Watson entered the plea as part of a deal with prosecutors. He had faced up to life in prison if convicted on the murder charge in the June death of Za'Miya Watson.

Police say Watson initially said his daughter was choking and he was carrying her into another room when he accidentally struck her head against a door frame. However, an autopsy by the state medical examiner found the cause of death to be homicide and said the child's injury was not accidental.

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