A southern New Jersey man convicted of fatally smothering a young girl while he sexually assaulted her has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The South Jersey Times (http://bit.ly/1ih7uaW) reports Latimer Byrdsell also got a 27-year sentence that will run consecutive to the life term he received Friday. A Cumberland County jury had found the 30-year-old Millville man guilty of felony murder, aggravated manslaughter and aggravated sexual assault in the July 2006 death of 3-year-old A'brianna Thomas. Defense attorneys had sought a lesser sentence, saying Byrdsell had not intended to kill the child. But the judge rejected those claims, saying Byrdsell knew the girl ``was very, very vulnerable.'' Authorities have said Byrdsell was babysitting the child at the time the attack occurred.
Evangelist Franklin Graham prayed on a sidewalk outside the Pentagon Thursday after his invitation to a prayer service inside was withdrawn because of comments that insulted people of other religions. More>>