Coleman pleads guilty to murder

Tony Alan Coleman, 52, of Waynesville, recently pled guilty as charged to murder and felony child abuse in the death of his 17-month-old grandson Kyler Presnell.

Coleman was sentenced to a maximum term of 25 years in prison and will serve at least 20 years before he is eligible for release. The investigation revealed that Presnell died of multiple injuries to his head and body that occurred while the defendant was taking care of him.

The case was investigated by the Haywood County Sheriff's Office and prosecuted by District Attorney Ashley Welch and a team of prosecutors from her office.

“The death of a child is always tragic, but it’s especially heartbreaking when it comes at the hands of someone whose highest duty in life is to protect that child. This conviction sends a strong message to the community that we will not rest until we bring anyone who hurts a child to justice,” Welch said.

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