- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 2, 2015

MONROE, N.C. (AP) - A man serving time for felony child abuse involving his 4-year-old stepdaughter has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

Local media outlets report 26-year-old Joshua Houser entered his plea in a Union County courtroom on Wednesday. Houser was convicted of felony child abuse in February 2014, just weeks before Kilah Davenport died.

Prosecutors said Houser rammed Kilah’s head through a wall in their home in 2012. Her brain injuries were so severe that she needed immediate surgery.

Houser will spend at least 13 years in prison on the second-degree murder conviction, and get credit for time served for the felony child abuse conviction.

Kilah’s death led to passage of legislation that more than doubles maximum prison terms for the most serious child abuse charge from roughly 15 years to 33 years.

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