Baton Rouge mother convicted of murder and cruelty charges in death of 11-month-old daughter

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BATON ROUGE, Louisiana — A Baton Rouge mother has been convicted on murder and cruelty charges in the June 2013 death of her 11-month-old daughter

Aaliyah Heard died from blunt-force trauma to the head but also had old and fresh burn marks on her tiny body when she was taken to a hospital unresponsive, prosecutors said.

The Advocate reports ( an East Baton Rouge Parish voted unanimously after more than two hours of deliberation Thursday to find 30-year-old Ashley Heard guilty of second-degree murder and second-degree cruelty to a juvenile.

Heard, who will be sentenced Oct. 21 by state District Judge Richard Anderson, faces a mandatory term of life in prison on the murder count and up to 40 years behind bars on the cruelty count.

Heard's boyfriend, Larry D. Leflore, 28, also of Baton Rouge, will be tried later on charges of first-degree murder and second-degree cruelty. He is accused of inflicting the fatal injuries on Aaliyah, believed to be his daughter. She was taken to the hospital June 21, 2013, and died the next day.

The child's autopsy revealed bleeding and bruising on the brain, bruising to her face and forehead, a broken collarbone and a large contact burn on her upper right thigh, in addition to other injuries, such as apparent cigarette burns.

"I have tried a lot of horrific cases. This is the worst thing I've ever seen," prosecutor Kathleen Barrios said after the verdicts were announced. "While justice was done, this could have been prevented. That's the worst thing about it."

Information from: The Advocate,

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