Great-aunt charged Swain County toddler's death

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BRYSON CITY, N.C. (AP) — The great-aunt of a 15-month-old baby who died more than a year ago in Swain County has been charged with second-degree murder.

Sheriff Curtis Cochran told the Asheville Citizen-Times (http://avlne.ws/xx5Zdo ) that LadyBird Powell is being held on $1 million bail and will have her first court appearance Monday.

Authorities say Powell was taking care of Aubrey Littlejohn while her mother was in jail. The Department of Social Services inspected Powell's home two months before the girl died, removing an 11-year-old boy, but leaving the toddler.

Authorities didn't detail how the girl died, but a medical examiner's report noted bruises and broken bones.

Powell also is charged with first-degree kidnapping and child abuse. It wasn't clear if she had an attorney.

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Information from: The Asheville Citizen-Times, http://www.citizen-times.com

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