Man guilty of third-degree murder in girl's death - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Man guilty of third-degree murder in girl's death

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UNIONTOWN, Pa. (AP) - A southwestern Pennsylvania man has pleaded guilty to third-degree murder in the beating death of his 20-month-old daughter, which he had claimed occurred when he tickled her too roughly.

Thirty-one-year-old Domer Burkholder, of North Union Township, acknowledged hitting the girl in the abdomen last November, saying, "I might have pushed a little too hard (in) the belly area with my fingers, like tickling."

Investigators determined little Caylee Jo Burkholder died from internal injuries, including a liver laceration, damaged intestines and bleeding.

Before Burkholder's guilty plea Wednesday, his wife had previously testified at a preliminary hearing that Burkholder got mad and punched the girl in the stomach.

Burkholder faces a maximum prison sentence of 20 to 40 years when he returns for sentencing Friday before a Fayette County judge.

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