Child Murderer Receives Two Life Sentences For Unspeakable Crime

TWO Life Sentences - Never to See LIGHT AGAIN!

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In April 2020, Andrew Byrd assumed responsibility for supervising 2-year-old Harper Mitchell and her two siblings while his girlfriend, Amanda Mitchell, was at her workplace. Upon the mother’s return a few hours later, she discovered her daughter in an unresponsive state. Regrettably, the young girl was subsequently declared deceased. Byrd has been sentenced to life imprisonment for the tragic act of taking her life.

Virginia Circuit Judge Josiah Showalter, on October 6, issued a verdict that sentenced Byrd to serve two life sentences consecutively, in addition to various prison terms ranging from 12 months to 10 years for six lesser offenses. This ruling followed a conviction by a Radford jury in March, which found him guilty on eight counts, encompassing charges such as methamphetamine possession, aggravated murder, and child abuse.

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Based on the testimony provided during the trial, Mitchell arrived back at her residence and discovered Harper with injuries, including bleeding and widespread bruises. She recounted her daughter being unresponsive, cold, and listless. She asserted that she made an attempt to seek assistance but alleged that Byrd not only strangled her but also issued threats to harm the other children if she sought medical care for Harper. She further informed the jury that he had placed a firearm against her head.

On the following day, Mitchell reported that she managed to contact Byrd’s mother, who subsequently dialed 911. Harper was swiftly transported to the hospital, but her injuries were of such gravity that she had to be taken off life support three days later. Byrd maintained that the child’s injuries occurred as a result of a fall from a shopping cart, a tumble from a four-wheeler, and an adverse reaction to nuts. Subsequently, law enforcement apprehended him.

During the trial, Dr. Amy Tharp, the medical examiner, provided testimony indicating that Harper’s injuries were of such magnitude that they resembled the aftermath of a serious car accident. The fatal factor was identified as blunt force trauma to her head. In addition to the charges related to Harper’s demise, Byrd is confronted with allegations of mistreatment of Mitchell’s other two children.

During the sentencing, Harper’s father, T.J. Mitchell, was overcome with emotion as he described the profound difficulty of making the decision to withdraw life support from his child. Amanda Mitchell also faced charges in connection with her daughter’s tragic passing, which included drug possession, acts of cruelty, and child abuse.