Lights & Sirens

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Verdict to be returned today on Lakewood woman charged with killing toddler

Post by Stacia Glenn / The News Tribune on Oct. 26, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
October 26, 2012 1:13 pm

A jury has settled on a verdict for Leanne Bechtel, a Lakewood woman accused of killing her live-in boyfriend’s 3-year-old daughter four years ago.

The verdict will be read this afternoon in Pierce County Superior Court.

Bechtel was charged last year with second-degree murder in the April 30, 2008, death of Autumn Franks.

Prosecutors argue she snapped during a moment of frustration or stress and slammed the little girl’s head against something hard, cracking her skull.

The defense attorney insists the family’s hyper pit bull jumped on the couch and knocked her down on her head.

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