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TUSCUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - A central Missouri woman will be sentenced in December for second-degree murder in the beating death of her boyfriend's 2-year-old daughter.
A Laclede County jury found 23-year-old Cheryl A. Patrick of Miller County guilty Friday of second-degree murder and abuse of a child.
The jury recommended 20-year sentences for each count. Sentencing was scheduled for Dec. 3.
Prosecutors say Patrick beat Alexis Ward to death in February of 2008 while watching her and a 4-year-old.
The child died two days later at a Columbia hospital.
The Lake Sun-Leader reports Patrick at first blamed an accident for the child's injuries and then tried to blame the girl's father before confessing to the crime.
The trial was moved on a change of venue from Miller County to Laclede County.
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