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Stepfather’s abuse conviction, sentence upheld by NC court

RALEIGH (AP) — The child abuse conviction of the stepfather of a young girl whose case led to North Carolina and federal laws being named in her honor has been upheld by the state Court of Appeals.

A three-judge panel Tuesday found nothing in Joshua Houser’s Union County trial to justify overturning last year’s guilty verdict and prison sentence of between seven and 10 years.

Authorities say Kilah Davenport suffered a fractured skull and other injuries in 2012 that left her with brain damage. The judges rejected arguments that testimony from a sheriff’s investigator about hairs in some drywall should not have been allowed in the trial. Prosecutors said Houser rammed the girl’s head through a wall.

Four-year-old Kilah died last March. Grand jurors have since indicted Houser on a second-degree murder charge.

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