Man pleads guilty in 2013 shaken baby death

Police say 22-month-old daughter of man's girlfriend stopped breathing, died

Todd Howell has pleaded guilty in the death of 22-month-old Kyleann Burress

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville man charged with murder in the 2013 death of his girlfriend's 22-month-old daughter changed his plea Thursday from not guilty to guilty.

Todd Howell, who had been set to go to trial April 3, will now be sentenced April 27.

Police said Howell claimed that he dropped Kyleann Burress in November 2013 at the Villages of Baymeadows apartments and tried to shake her to wake her up.

The girl stopped breathing and was taken to a hospital, where she died from shaken baby syndrome.

"It's sad and it's tragic, and it definitely serves as a reminder and a wake-up call to all single parents that they should be choosing their partners very carefully," Department of Children and Families spokesman John Harrell said in 2013.

Police said the incident happened after Howell took the girl's mother to work. The two had been together for two months.

"When we interviewed him, he actually denied doing anything wrong, but he said he was changing the child, and during the course of changing the child, he dropped the child and started shaking the child in order to revive the child," Asst. Chief Chris Butler, of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, said in 2013.

Police said no other children were in the home at the time.

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