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Arizona court affirms conviction, death penalty in Chandler case

(AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)

PHOENIX – The Arizona Supreme Court has affirmed the conviction and sentence of a man who got the death penalty for fatally beating his live-in girlfriend’s daughter.

The high court issued a 29-page ruling Thursday after considering more than a dozen issues in Dauntorian Lydel Sanders’ case and said substantial evidence supported the conviction.

A jury found the then 28-year-old Sanders guilty of first-degree murder and two counts of child abuse. He was sentenced in 2014.

Chandler police say 3-year-old Schala Vera wasn’t breathing when she was found lying between a toilet and a bathroom sink where she crawled to hide in August 2009.

Police say the girl was covered with bruises and belt marks on her arms, legs, torso and head.

An autopsy showed Schala died of massive blunt force trauma.

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