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Jury acquits Westminster man charged in death of girlfriend's 13-month old daughter

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GOLDEN, Colorado — A jury has acquitted a 32-year-old Westminster man who was charged in the death of his girlfriend's 13-month-old daughter.

The Jefferson County District Attorney's Office says Justin Austin Hale was found not guilty Thursday of first-degree murder of a child and reckless child abuse resulting in death.

Police were called to Hale's home May 18, 2013, on a report that the child, Brookelynn Palmer, was not breathing. The baby's mother told investigators she was in another room getting dressed when she heard a "thump."

Brookelynn, who suffered a skull fracture and swelling of the brain, was taken off life support two days later.

Her mother says Hale told her the baby was sitting on the coffee table before she fell and hit her head when he stepped away for a moment.

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