Guilty: Man killed girlfriend’s 5-year-old daughter


The jury couldn't reach a verdict on murder charges

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A Vancouver man has been found guilty of killing his girlfriend’s 5-year-old daughter.

On Wednesday, Clark County Superior Court convicted Ryan Burge of manslaughter in the first and second degrees. Jurors could not reach a verdict on murder charges, according to Senior Deputy Prosecutor James Smith.

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An undated photo of Ryan Burge. (Courtesy to KOIN)

Burge previously pleaded not guilty in the November 2018 death of Hartley Anderson.

Hartley’s mother came home to her apartment in Vancouver to find the 5-year-old girl badly bleeding. Hartley was rushed to PeaceHealth Medical Center and then transferred to Randall Children’s Hospital where she was pronounced dead shortly after she arrived.

Burge, who was dating Hartley’s mom at the time, had been babysitting the little girl all day while her mother was at work.

Burge reportedly told Vancouver police Hartley hurt herself throwing a tantrum and thrusting her own head into the wall.

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Undated photos of Hartley, who was 5 when she died Nov. 2, 2018. (Courtesy of Hartley’s family)

But a neurosurgeon who examined her told detectives Hartley suffered a hemispheric stroke and massive brain swelling — and that she couldn’t have caused those kinds of injuries to herself.

The defense argued that Hartley had a history of self-harm and had visited doctors more than once for hitting her head.

Smith said during closing arguments this week that Hartley could not have caused her own death. He reminded jurors of home surveillance showing Hartley playing by herself all day while Burge was sequestered in a bedroom by himself.

Burge is scheduled to be sentenced on March 11.

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