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New Jersey man sentenced to life for daughter's car-seat drowning

By Laila Kearney

(Reuters) - A New Jersey man was sentenced to life without parole on Wednesday for killing his toddler daughter by tossing her into an icy creek while she was strapped into a weighted-down car seat, prosecutors said.

Arthur Morgan III, 29, was convicted last month of first-degree murder committed during a court-approved visit with 2-year-old Tierra Morgan-Glover in November 2011.

In addition to the life sentence, Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Anthony Mellaci gave Morgan five years for interference with his custody arrangement, Monmouth County District Attorney spokesman Charles Webster told Reuters.

"The way things stand right now, Mr. Morgan will never see the outside of a prison wall," Webster said.

Prosecutors said Morgan killed Tierra to get back at her mother, his estranged girlfriend, who had custody of the child.

On the day of Tierra's death, he told her mother he was taking the girl to see a movie, but instead drove to an overpass and threw her into the water, prosecutors said.

Two days after Morgan failed to return the girl to her mother, the child's body was found submerged in a stream by a group of teenagers playing in a park in Wall Township, about 39 miles (62 km) east of Trenton, New Jersey.

The girl was alive when her car seat, with a heavy tire jack secured to it, hit the frigid water, prosecutors said.

After a nationwide manhunt, Morgan was arrested in San Diego about a week after the incident.

He will likely serve his sentence at one of New Jersey's three maximum security prisons, Webster said.

Morgan's public defender attorney was not immediately available for comment on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Laila Kearney in New York; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Gunna Dickson)

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