Man pleads guilty in toddler death case

Posted at 8:30 PM, Jan 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-22 20:30:30-05

A Frederick man has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and first-degree child abuse in a case that prompted reform of Maryland's child welfare laws.

Twenty-six-year-old Frankie Williams entered the pleas Thursday. He agreed to be sentenced to 60 years in prison on March 17.

Williams was charged in the 2014 death of his daughter Anayah. The 21-month-old girl was fatally beaten at home a few weeks after she was returned to her parents from foster care.

The case prompted a 2015 law called Anayah's Law, giving the state Department of Social Services more flexibility in deciding whether to recommend family reunification.

Anayah's mother Stephanie Williams pleaded guilty in April to first-degree child abuse for failing to prevent the beating. She's serving a 20-year sentence