NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

A man convicted of killing a toddler in East Tennessee is out of prison.

The conviction led to changes in Tennessee state law.

The Tennessee Department of Corrections says 48-year-old Kerry Phillip Bowers served more than 26 years of a 36 year sentence at West Tennessee State Penitentiary.

Bowers was convicted of second degree murder in the killing of 2-year-old Scotty Trexler in 1987.

Back then state law required intent for a first degree murder charge.

"Trexler's Law," which passed in 1988, now requires a first degree murder charge for anyone suspected of killing a child through abuse.