Jurors convict Alabama woman in 2020 beating death of toddler

FLORENCE, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama jury on Thursday convicted a woman of felony murder for the 2020 beating death of her boyfriend’s 3-year-old son.

Jurors in Lauderdale County returned the guilty verdict against Yalrick Pride, 23, of Florence, during their first day of deliberations, news outlets reported.

Kaiden Garner died in the summer of 2020. Authorities said Pride and Kaiden's father, Blake Townsend, initially tried to make it look like the child had died from being left in a hot car, WAFF-TV reported. However, investigators said they determined Kaiden died from blunt force trauma and had been dead for three hours before authorities were alerted.

Townsend was charged with capital murder but pleaded guilty to aggravated child abuse and was sentenced to life in prison as part of his plea deal. He testified that he saw Pride hitting his son with a belt.

Pride did not testify. Her sister told jurors that Townsend was the abusive one and she had seen Townsend hit Pride.

An obituary remembered Kaiden as an intelligent child with an amazing smile who loved jokes and the cartoon, “Paw Patrol.”