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Man sentenced to life in shaken-baby case

A Clayton County jury returned four guilty verdicts, on Wednesday, against a man accused of shaking to death one of his girlfriend's 17-month-old twins, a prosecutor said.

Tory Sears, 32, who was living with the victim's mother in a Stockbridge apartment at the time, was sentenced to life in prison in Jakylia Ricks' 2007 death, according to Clayton County Assistant District Attorney Bill Dixon.

Sears was convicted on two counts of felony murder, and one count each of cruelty to children and aggravated battery. Dixon said the jury acquitted Sears on a malice murder charge.

Prosecutors alleged that Sears took the twins to a cookout at the apartment complex on Sept. 30, 2007 while their mother was at work. Dixon said the victim began to get fussy and Sears brought them back to the apartment. He said Jakylia Ricks' older brother, who was 12 at the time, testified to hearing Sears yell, "Shut up, girl."

Dixon said Jakylia Ricks was taken to Southern Regional Medical Center with severe injuries, and was later transported to an Atlanta children's hospital. He said doctors said the girl suffered symptoms of shaken-baby syndrome.

"The injuries were significant -- they were not accidental -- and unsurvivable," Dixon said.

-- Michael Davis