|Woman guilty of killing autistic stepdaughter|
|News - St Augustine Area & St Johns County|
SARASOTA ó 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 didnít 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.
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