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Girl Dies Decade After Abuse, Babysitter Charged

Christopher Byrd has already served time for crime
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 26, 2015 1:09 PM CST
Girl Dies Decade After Abuse, Babysitter Charged
The accused could face 25 years to life.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

(Newser) – A babysitter has been charged with murdering the child in his care after an incident in 2005. Here’s the weird part: the girl died this January. Authorities say Christopher Byrd violently shook the 11-month-old daughter of his girlfriend, whom he lived with in La Habra, Calif., until she fell unconscious while he was looking after the child on Jan. 12, 2005, report the Los Angeles Times and Orange County Register. Police say he then ran to a neighbor's house to call paramedics. For the next 10 years of her life, Savannah Quake remained in a vegetative state, having suffered a traumatic brain injury.

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Authorities say her death on Jan. 17 of this year was directly related to Byrd's actions. In 2007, Byrd pleaded guilty to charges of child abuse and possessing methamphetamine related to the incident in 2006 and was sentenced to four years in prison, reports the New York Times, but Savannah's death allows for new charges, authorities say. Byrd—who's already serving nearly nine years in prison for drugs and theft—is scheduled to be arraigned on charges of murder and felony assault on a child on Dec. 4 and could face 25 years to life if convicted. (This case in Washington is strangely similar.)

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