Local News

Harnett man to be re-sentenced in toddler's death

Posted January 5, 2011

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— The state Court of Appeals has ordered that a Spring Lake man receive a new sentence for the July 2007 death of his girlfriend's young daughter.

Antonio Byrd was convicted in July 2009 of involuntary manslaughter in the death of 2-year-old Miracle McLean. He was sentenced to 20 to 24 months in prison.

Byrd's lawyers argued that the fact he was in a position of trust when the girl died shouldn't have been considered as an aggravating factor by the trial judge at sentencing since it could have played a role in jurors finding him guilty.

In an unpublished opinion released Tuesday, the appellate court said Byrd's sentence should be vacated and that he should be re-sentenced.

Byrd was living with Miracle's mother in Spring Lake at the time of the girl's death. He told investigators that she had drowned, but an autopsy showed that she died of blunt force trauma and had received blows to the head and abdomen.