TACOMA — 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 reported that 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.