Woman guilty of killing Lakewood toddler

  • Sat Oct 27th, 2012 1:34pm
  • News

Associated Press

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.