Ohio grand jury charges man in death of 5-year-old niece

HILLSBORO, Ohio (AP) — A southwest Ohio grand jury has indicted a 19-year-old man on charges including aggravated murder in the death of his 5-year-old niece.

However, the prosecutor decided not to seek the death penalty for Matthew Pierson. Highland County Prosecutor Anneka Collins today cited factors including Pierson’s youth and his lack of significant prior criminal history for her decision.

Pierson could face a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted.

Police have said the body of Jada Beth Williams was found Aug. 12 in a plastic container in the garage of the home where she lived with her uncle and grandmother. Police believe she was beaten with a tool.

Pierson also is charged with abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.

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