Father Guilty in Son's Death

A central Florida jury found a local man guilty in the death of his son.

Darell Avant, Senior was found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of the 5-year-old boy, according to court records.

Avant had been accused of beating the boy to death.

Case records indicate that Avent had first claimed that he was making the boy do push-ups and hard exercise as punishment for misbehaving in school.

The prosecution, however, had presented evidence that seemed to indicate beatings which had produced severe, and ultimately fatal, damage to the child.

The jury began deliberations Thursday morning, and returned with its verdict late that afternoon.

Court reports also note that the jury returned guilty verdicts on the charges of child abuse and manslaughter by culpable negilgence for not immediately calling 911 when his son showed signs of physical distress.

According to information from the court, the penalty phase of Avant's trial begins Monday.

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