Texas man found guilty in beating death of 7-month-old girl

Talawrence Tennell (Brazos County jail records)
Talawrence Tennell (Brazos County jail records)

BRYAN, Texas (AP) — A jury has convicted a Texas man who prosecutors say was high on drugs when he fatally beat a 7-month-old child who suffered a fractured skull and ribs.

Thirty-eight-year-old Talawrence Tennell of Bryan was found guilty Thursday of capital murder by a Brazos County jury.

He’ll automatically receive a life sentence without the possibility of parole for killing Hailey Burleson, who was the daughter of his girlfriend at the time.

A prosecution witness testified that Tennell had admitted smoking PCP on the day the girl was killed.

The Eagle newspaper reports that his court-appointed attorney had argued Tennell didn’t intentionally kill the child and that others had testified he never previously mistreated Hailey.