3rd-degree murder plea in Pa. toddler’s death

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A western Pennsylvania man has pleaded guilty to third-degree murder in the death of his girlfriend’s toddler daughter last year.

The (Johnstown) Tribune-Democrat (http://bit.ly/1eu3weK ) says 26-year-old Patrick Burkett entered the plea in Cambria County Court this week in the August 2012 death of 22-month-old Reagan Panick.

Investigators said the child died of massive head trauma at Burkett’s Beaverdale home, and he gave several different accounts of how the injuries occurred.

Assistant Public Defender John Lovette III said he and his client agreed to the plea after reviewing medical records earlier this year.

He said his client has been remorseful ever since the child’s death and didn’t want the family to have to go through a trial.

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Information from: The Tribune-Democrat, http://www.tribune-democrat.com

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