ASHEVILLE, N.C. — A North Carolina man who pleaded guilty to fatally stabbing his 6-year-old daughter two years ago has been sentenced to life in prison.

Local news sources report a federal judge handed down the sentence Friday in the case of 38-year-old Seth Willis Pickering.

Two national park rangers said Pickering stabbed Lila Pickering in the heart and lung as they were walking along the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina in September 2016.

U.S. District Court Judge Max Cogburn Jr. told Pickering he "weaponized" his daughter to lash out in "a selfish act of anger" at his wife for having left him and at social services for placing Lila in the care of a temporary guardian a month prior.

Pickering and his ex-wife had been involved in an extended custody battle.