- Associated Press - Friday, October 17, 2014

BLYTHEVILLE, Ark. (AP) - A Mississippi County jury has sentenced a man to 25 years in prison for raping an 11-year-old girl who was later found dead.

Jurors on Thursday found 30-year-old Freddie Sharp II guilty of raping Jessica Williams of Gosnell in August 2013. Authorities used DNA evidence to link Sharp to the rape. Her body was found in a ditch after police say another man pushed her off of a bridge shortly after the assault.

Sharp says his DNA might have come into contact with her body because he urinated off of a bridge near where she was found.

Eighteen-year-old Christopher Sowell is charged in her murder. He has pleaded not guilty.

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