By Jennifer Phonexayphova

Killeen Daily Herald

BELTON – A 37-year-old Killeen man on Wednesday was sentenced to 10 years in prison for sexually assaulting an 8-year-old girl.

Anthony Charles Adams was sentenced on a charge of aggravated sexual assault of a child by a jury in the 164th Judicial District Court. The verdict was reached Tuesday after jurors heard testimony from several witnesses, including the victim.

Adams must serve up to 50 percent of his sentence without good conduct credit.

Adams was arraigned on Nov. 10, 2005. According to court reports, the mother of the victim, who was 8 years old at the time, brought her and her two brothers to Adams' Killeen home on Oct. 14, 2005, for his niece to baby-sit. The victim told police that she and her brothers fell asleep in the living room of the residence; Adams picked her up and took her to his bedroom, where the assault took place.

Judge Martha Trudo presided over the sentencing hearing, while the defendant was represented by attorney Buck Harris. Attorney Mark Kimball led the prosecution.

Harris had requested Adams receive probation instead of jail time because he had not been convicted of felony charges prior to this case. Adams was facing a sentence ranging from five years to life in prison.

Around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, the jury returned a verdict, but after reviewing it and finding inconsistencies, Trudo directed jurors to go over the charges again and re-consider their verdict.

There was also some confusion as to whether the defendant was able to serve both probation and jail time, to which Trudo clarified it must be one or the other.

Trudo also had to address whether she could pass down a sentence.

"It's the jury's responsibility to be the fact finders," Trudo said, as she attempted to clear up any confusion about the jury's role.

She said that Adams requested a trial by jury and that it was the jurors' responsibility to decide the sentence.

The defendant's family, along with the victim and her mother, attended the sentencing hearing, seated on opposite sides of the courtroom.

Following the sentencing, Adams' attorneys filed a motion of appeal.

Contact Jennifer Phonexayphova at jennifer@kdhnewscom

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