Southwest Florida man convicted in death of autistic daughter; faces 65 years in prison

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SARASOTA, Florida — A southwest Florida man has been convicted in the death of his autistic daughter.

A Sarasota County jury found 37-year-old Kenneth Stoddard guilty Friday of aggravated manslaughter, aggravated child abuse and tampering with evidence. He faces up to 65 years in prison at his Oct. 16 sentencing.

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/Ef6iJW) reports that Melissa's stepmother, Misty Stoddard, was sentenced to life in prison last month after a jury previously convicted her of first-degree murder and aggravated child.

Officials say DNA from Melissa, Kenneth and Misty Stoddard was found on the board.


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

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