Guilty verdict in Stoddard murder trial - WFLA News Channel 8

Guilty verdict in Stoddard murder trial

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Misty Stoddard in court. Insert: Melissa Stoddard, 11 Misty Stoddard in court. Insert: Melissa Stoddard, 11
A bailiff passed out in court on Friday.  He is expected to be OK. A bailiff passed out in court on Friday. He is expected to be OK.

Jurors returned a verdict Friday in the Misty Stoddard murder trial.

They found her guilty of first degree murder and aggravated child abuse in the death of her stepdaughter who had autism.

It took two hours of deliberations.

When the judge read the verdict, Stoddard appeared depressed.

Stoddard has been convicted for tying up her 11-year-old stepdaughter Melissa to a wooden board and gagging her with duct tape in December 2012.

Melissa went brain dead, and died a few days later.

The state insisted all week that Misty murdered the girl, but the defense argued that it was actually her husband, Kenneth Stoddard, who committed the crime.

On the stand on Thursday, Misty said the wooden board was actually used for sex acts.

The jury sided with the prosecution and found her guilty on all counts.

After the verdict was announced, Stoddard was soon handcuffed and taken away.

“They put it all together in exactly the way the judge told them to do-which was base your decision on the facts and the evidence and follow the law,” state prosecutor Karen Fraivillig told reporters.

Melissa’s biological mother, Lisha Stoddard, was relieved.

“I'm just happy with the outcome of the verdict that's all,” Lisha Stoddard said. “Very happy and my daughter was seen as a person and not as this crazy kid."

The defense team did not wish to comment.

Stoddard faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison. Her sentencing hearing will be held in August.

There was a bit of drama unrelated to any testimony in the trial.

The judge was speaking to jurors when all of a sudden a bailiff passed out nearby.

Thankfully, there were two paramedics in the courtroom They quickly rushed over and treated the man.

Within minutes, the bailiff was alert and talking. He was taken away by ambulance for treatment. He is expected to be fine.

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