Southwest Florida woman guilty of first-degree murder in autistic stepdaughter's death


We also have more stories about:
(click the phrases to see a list)

Subjects:

Places:

 


SARASOTA, Florida — A southwest Florida woman has been convicted of killing her autistic stepdaughter.

A Sarasota County jury found 37-year-old Misty Stoddard guilty Friday of first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse. Prosecutors didn't seek the death penalty, which means Stoddard faces a mandatory life sentence.

Authorities say 11-year-old Melissa Stoddard died of a lack of oxygen to the brain in December 2012. The girl had been tied and forced to sleep on a plywood board with her mouth duct-taped shut.

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune (http://goo.gl/zXilMt ) reports that Melissa's biological father, Kenneth Stoddard, is scheduled to go on trial in August. He's charged with manslaughter, aggravated battery and tampering with evidence.

An expert testified that DNA from Melissa, Kenneth and Misty Stoddard was found on the board.


Information from: Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune, http://www.heraldtribune.com

All content copyright ©2014 Daily Journal, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved. Click here to read our privacy policy.