Man pleads not guilty to murder of 5-year-old Vancouver girl

    Hartley eating ice cream (Photo courtesy Witney Luchau)

    VANCOUVER, Wash. — A man has pleaded not guilty to killing his girlfriend's 5-year-old daughter.

    KATU-TV reports 37-year-old Ryan Burge pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder Tuesday in Clark County Superior Court.

    Hartley Anderson was injured Nov. 2 when investigators say Burge was babysitting her while her mother was at work.

    Authorities say Anderson was unconscious with severe head trauma when they arrived. She was taken to Peace Health Medical Center and then transferred to Randall Children's Hospital in Portland. She later died of her injuries.

    Court records say Burge told police investigators that the girl hurt herself "while having a tantrum."

    Nearly two dozen family members and friends were in the courtroom Tuesday, all in pursuit of justice for Hartley.

    The last time Burge was in court, Hartley’s father lunged at him and had to be restrained.

    “There's a piece of our heart gone, that we'll never get back. We just ... we want the system to work. We want him to get maximum what he can get,” said Tim Luchau, Hartley’s grandfather.

    Records say Burge remains in the Clark County Jail in lieu of $5 million. His trial is scheduled for next summer.

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