South Carolina

Jury finds Lancaster woman guilty in 3-year-old girl's beating death

LANCASTER, S.C. — A Lancaster County woman will spend life behind bars after a jury found her guilty of killing her boyfriend's 3-year-old daughter in December 2017.

Kayla Cook, 26, was convicted Monday of homicide by child abuse.

[‘Not a heartless monster': Lawyer for Lancaster woman accused in 3-year old's death]

[Grandmother arrested in connection with 3-year-old's beating death]

Sixth Circuit Solicitor Randy Newman said Lillian Schroeder was beaten to death in Lancaster and that Cook was responsible. Cook was the live-in girlfriend of the victim's father and the child's caregiver when she died.

(Kayla Cook)

Prosecutors and police said Cook killed the toddler through a series of beatings that included a broken arm and internal bleeding.

Cook's attorney, Ross Burton, argued that Cook was not the child's only caregiver and evidence did not show she was responsible for the child's injuries.

(Lillian Schroeder)

Cook has 10 days to file an appeal.