Man found guilty in 4-year-old’s death

The Associated Press

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SMITHFIELD — A jury in Johnston County has found a man guilty of charges stemming from the 2010 death of a 4-year-old girl.

Jonathan Douglas Richardson was on trial in the death of Teghan Skiba, who had been living with him and her mother in a barn behind the home of Richardson’s grandparents. The jury returned its verdict on Tuesday.

Richardson could face the death penalty.

Authorities say Helen Roxana Reyes left her daughter in Richardson’s care while she went to military training in New Mexico. The defense said Richardson had uncontrollable anger, causing him to lose patience and abuse Teghan.

The prosecutor said Richardson took pleasure in torturing Teghan. By the time she reached the hospital, her brain had swollen and she had lost more than half of her blood.