Newaygo Co. jury convicts stepfather in murder of 14-month-old girl

WHITE CLOUD, Mich.  —  A Newaygo County Circuit Court jury has convicted a stepfather for the murder of his 14-month-old stepdaughter.

A Circuit Court clerk tells FOX 17 that Wayne Arthur-Scott Brown, 30, was found guilty Wednesday on both of the counts against him: First-Degree Child Abuse, and Homicide/Murder 1st Degree. The case went to the 12-person jury around 11 a.m., and the verdict came down late in the afternoon. 

The Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office said in February 2017 that Laylah Heether was taken to the hospital on Valentine’s Day with head injuries, after police were called on a suspected child-abuse claim in Big Prairie Township. The baby died several days later in an Intensive Care Unit.

A Celebration of Life ceremony was held for Layla, and a GoFundMe page was set up to help the family with funeral expenses.

A sentencing date for Brown has yet to be set. A first-degree murder conviction in Michigan carries a mandatory life-in-prison sentence.



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