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Arkansas man sentenced to life in prison in toddler’s death

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HARRISON, Ark. – An Arkansas man has been convicted of first-degree murder for the death of a 2-year-old girl and sentenced to life in prison.

Under a plea agreement, 24-year-old Cody Allen pleaded guilty Thursday to causing the death of a child, who suffered severe brain damage in May 2016.

He initially faced capital murders charges and the death penalty.

According to court documents, police who responded to a call about an unresponsive child were told that the girl had fallen down a set of stairs. But authorities said the child’s injuries seemed more severe than the explanation given.

Allen was arrested following a 48-hour investigation.

The child’s mother, 21-year-old Anastasia Weaver, also faces charges of manslaughter and permitting child abuse.

Her trial date is scheduled for February 22, 2018.