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Posted: January 23, 2012 11:09 a.m.

Conviction upheld in toddler death

ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia's top court has unanimously upheld the murder convictions and life prison sentences given to a metro Atlanta couple for strangling and beating to death the woman's young daughter.

The Georgia Supreme Court's decision on Monday involved the December 2008 death of Makayla Mack, who was 2 ½ when she was taken to the hospital.

An autopsy revealed she had hair loss, bruises and other signs of abuse, and Coweta County prosecutors charged Thomasina Mack and DeMario Steven Smith with her death.

The two were tried jointly in April 2010 and the jury found them guilty of murder and cruelty to children, sentencing them both to life in prison. Both appealed, but the Georgia Supreme Court's opinion found the evidence was sufficient to find them "guilty beyond a reasonable doubt."

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