Aunt convicted of murder in Highland Park 4-year-old boy's death

Matilda Gardner was found guilty of second-degree murder, torture, child abuse in the death of Robert Byrd

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Robert Byrd

DETROIT - The aunt of a 4-year-old boy who was starved and abused to death has been found guilty of murder.

Matilda Gardner was found guilty Thursday of second-degree murder, torture and child abuse in the death of Robert Byrd.

Byrd was rushed to a hospital on May 8, 2011, but was already dead when he got there.

An autopsy revealed he'd been bound at the wrists, beaten over a long period of time and systematically starved. When he died, he only weighed 22 pounds and his body was covered in blistering wounds.

Gardner will be sentenced in June. She is Byrd's mother's sister.

Anthony Byrd, the boy's father, said he entrusted his son's care to his in laws after their mother died.

Gardner's husband, Randy, is serving 30 to 60 years in prison for pleading guilty to second-degree murder in the case as well.

--Randy Gardner

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