Father guilty in disabled girl's scalding death

/ Source: The Associated Press

The father of a disabled girl who died after she was scalded in a bathtub was convicted of murder for failing to seek medical help for her for more than a week.

Shawn Lockett Sr. could face up to 40 years in prison after being convicted Wednesday of third-degree murder, conspiracy and endangering the welfare of a child. Sentencing was set for July 24.

Ten-year-old Quiniece Lockett, who had cerebral palsy and was blind and partially paralyzed, was burned in April 2007 after her father's companion, LaShawn Brown, placed her in a scalding bath.

Lockett, 32, and Brown apparently treated her with salve but did not call for medical help until she became unresponsive eight days later, authorities said. Prosecutors said the child was already dead when they called for an ambulance.

Brown pleaded guilty to third-degree murder last month in exchange for a seven- to 14-year term. She "has at least expressed some responsibility in this girl's death," prosecutor Sean McCormack said Thursday.

Quiniece was severely burned over a third of her body.

Although Lockett had told police he saw his daughter's skin peeling off, he told the jurors that he had not seen peeling skin and that the burn looked like a sunburn. He said that he was working two jobs at the time and that the wounds were bandaged when he saw her.

Prosecutors acknowledged the injury was accidental but said the couple's failure to seek prompt medical attention amounted to murder.

The girl, who used a wheelchair and could not feed herself, "needed these people 100 percent," McCormack said.

Four other children who lived in the house were turned over to child welfare authorities.