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Watertown man acquitted in toddler's killing

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news Mitchell, 57301

Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

WATERTOWN (AP) — Jurors in Watertown have acquitted a man of killing his former girlfriend's daughter.

KELO-TV reports 26-year-old Jay Barse was found not guilty Monday of second-degree murder and the lesser offenses of first- and second-degree manslaughter.

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His trial started a week ago and prosecutors say Barse admitted to hitting 14-month-old Serenity Seaboy in the head. She was treated for head trauma but later died.

But his defense says Barse acknowledged hitting the girl four days before she went to the hospital, so his confession didn't connect him with the death.

The jury got the case late Monday morning and reached a verdict by mid-afternoon.

Serenity was the daughter of Barse's ex-girlfriend, Sherry Scherer. They lived together at the time.

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