Woman charged with murder in death of her autistic step-daughter

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SARASOTA - The stepmother of a young girl who suffocated last year is facing new, additional charges.

The State Attorney's Office has confirmed that it has charged Misty Stoddard with First Degree Murder. That's on top of the Aggravated Child Abuse charges she already faces.

Stoddard and her husband Kenneth were arrested in December 2012 in the death of Kenneth's 11-year-old autistic daughter Melissa. Authorities say the couple regularly tied the girl to a plywood board and taped her mouth shut.

Kenneth Stoddard was released from jail on bond in April. His wife remains in custody.