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Father Sentenced to 3 Years for Killing Alleged Rapist of Toddler

August 15, 1991

FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) _ A man who killed his trailer mate after he allegedly raped his 3-year-old daughter has been sentenced to three years in prison on a voluntary manslaughter conviction.

A jury returned the manslaughter verdict Wednesday against Michael E. Travers, rejecting prosecution arguments during the one-day trial that the May 26 stabbing death of Charles Paugh was premeditated murder.

Travers had left his daughter in Paugh’s care for about an hour while Travers and his wife walked to a grocery store near their Alexandria, Va., trailer park.

When the two returned Travers found saw blood and swelling around the toddler’s vagina, according to testimony, and she complained that Paugh had hurt her.

In a tape-recorded statement to police played during the trial, Travers said Paugh kept changing his story about how the girl was injured. After concluding that she had been raped, Travers said he stabbed Paugh.

Two doctors testified that the girl’s vagina was bruised and scraped and that her wounds were consistent with those suffered from a sexual assault.

The prosecutor in the case argued that Travers should not have taken the law into his own hands.

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