Death penalty sought in toddler's death
ALTOONA, Pa. (AP) — Prosecutors have announced plans to seek the death penalty in the death of a toddler in Pennsylvania earlier this year.
The (Altoona) Mirror reports that 19-year-old Drue Burd of Altoona pleaded not guilty Friday to homicide, aggravated assault, strangulation and related charges.
Police allege that he told investigators he put his hand over the mouth and nose of 16-month-old Angela Beard in May to make her fall asleep. She was pronounced dead at a Pittsburgh hospital.
Prosecutors said they will seek capital punishment if he is convicted of first-degree murder.
The judge Friday barred attorneys from publicly commenting about the case, saying she wanted to avoid pre-trial publicity and to ensure a fair and impartial trial.
Information from: Altoona Mirror, http://www.altoonamirror.com