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Brownwood teen sentenced to life for killing infant daughter

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BROWNWOOD, Texas - A 19-year-old Brownwood man was found guilty of capital murder Friday in the death of his 28-day-old daughter and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Judge Stephen Ellis administered the verdict and the sentencing for Jekaris Bryant after four days of testimony. Bryant waived his right to a trial by jury.

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Friday marked Day 4 of the trial.

"I'm upset that they did sentence my son to life in prison without parole," Richard Bryant Sr. said on Friday.

He was inside the courtroom when Ellis convicted Bryant for violently shaking his daughter Breyla Ann Bryant to death on Dec. 13, 2015.

"We all love you, we're here for you 100 percent," Bryant Sr. said. "We're going to appeal this charge as quick as possible."

In his closing argument, Brown County District Attorney Micheal Murray said Bryant knowingly gave his baby injuries that killed her. They included 32 rib fractures and severe internal bleeding in the brain.

"When you have to do your job, knowing that there's going to be some folks that have hurt feelings, it just puts additional pressure on you," Murray said. "It adds an additional stress load that may not be there."

Brownwood Police Detective Harold Q. Thomas launched the investigation into Breyla's death in 2015.

"Anyone that touches this case is going be affected, because it's such a small child," Thomas said. "But you just have to learn to set your emotions aside and still just find the truth."

He said justice was served for Breyla.

Bryant was charged for capital murder because under Texas law, killing a child under the age of 10 is a capital murder offense.

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