Andrew Byrd Wiki – Andrew Byrd Biography
A jury convicted Andrew Byrd, 37, in March of aggravated murder, aggravated malicious wounding and a host of other charges for the 2020 murder of his girlfriend’s 2-year-old daughter. “This is the most serious crime of all the crimes we have on our books,” Commonwealth’s Attorney Chris Rehak said, according to The Roanoke Times. “This defendant tortured that poor girl.” On April 16, Byrd was at her Roanoke home, about 200 miles west of Richmond, with Harper and her two siblings while the children’s mother, Amanda Mitchell, was at work. When Mitchell returned, her daughter was limp, bruised and cold, but Byrd wouldn’t let her call for help, the local newspaper reported. Mitchell testified that he took her phone, strangled her and threatened to kill her children if she took the girl to the hospital. The only thing Byrd cared about that night was “getting high” and he wasn’t concerned about the suffering of the child he had fatally wounded, Rehak told the judge at his sentencing, according to the outlet. The next morning, Mitchell said she was able to take her phone and call Byrd’s mother, who dialed 911. Harper was rushed to a hospital, but it was too late. Her family took her off life support three days later.
Andrew Byrd is 37 years old.
Her injuries were so severe that medical examiner Amy Tharp testified that Harper’s battered body appeared to have been in a serious car accident. She died from blunt force trauma to the head. Byrd’s lawyers argued that no one saw him hit Harper and called the prosecution’s case “far-fetched theories.” She had a significant history of substance abuse and methamphetamine addiction at the time, they added. After her arrest, he offered several explanations for Harper’s injuries, including the possibility that she had fallen down a flight of stairs or from her four-wheeled vehicle. “This is a dangerous and violent liar,” Rehak told the judge on Friday, according to the local newspaper. A life sentence is “probably too kind and too much mercy,” he added. The girl’s father, TJ Mitchell, told the judge how much he missed her little girl and how difficult it was to take her off life support. “No person, much less a little girl, a little angel, should be hurt,” Circuit Judge Joey Showalter said before handing down the sentence. Amanda Mitchell has pending charges of child abuse, cruelty and drug possession. Byrd faces additional charges stemming from the alleged abuse of Mitchell’s children.