Ohio grand jury charges man in death of niece, 5

September 11, 2012 - 7:34 PM

HILLSBORO, Ohio (AP) — A man accused of killing his 5-year-old niece has been indicted by a southwest Ohio grand jury on charges including aggravated murder.

But Highland County prosecutor Anneka (AN'-ee-kuh) Collins on Tuesday cited factors including 19-year-old Matthew Pierson's youth and lack of significant prior criminal history for her decision not to seek the death penalty.

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

Police say the body of Jada Beth Williams was found Aug. 12 in a plastic container in the garage of the Jackson Township 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. His attorney says it would be premature to comment so early in the case.