IN one of the most coldhearted acts ever wit­nessed in a courtroom, a vicious dad who’d just been convicted of brutally murdering his toddler daughter smirked and winked at devas­tated relatives as he was led from the courtroom in shackles.

Family members recoiled in horror as adorable Tierra Morgan Glover’s father, Arthur Morgan III, put on his twisted display. They gasped and broke down in tears, with one crying out in anguish: “Oh, God!”

The 2-year-old tyke’s body had been pulled from a creek near the New Jersey shore after Morgan – who was supposed to be taking her on a fun outing to the movies – strapped her into her pink-flowered car seat, weighed it down with a tire jack and hurled her into the water to drown.

She was found with one black and purple sneaker sticking out of the creek – a poignant reminder of how the in­nocent child had been robbed of the right to grow up by the heartless monster she had adored and trusted.

“She looked up to him as the person who was supposed to love and pro­tect her, and he didn’t,” said acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Chris­topher Gramiccioni. “He killed her.

“God bless her. I hope she is in a better place.”

Prosecutors told the court Morgan had killed his own flesh and blood to get back at the girl’s mother for breaking off their en­gagement.

After the brutal murder, Mor­gan, who was living in his car, fled to California and was ar­rested several days later in San Diego. Incredibly, he kept a newspaper story about the slay­ing in his pocket.

And while in the lock-up, the callous creep wrote a letter to Tierra’s mother, Imani Benton, haughtily telling her: “Don’t just let anyone play me in the TV movie.”

Meanwhile, the Monmouth County medical examiner made a grim discovery – little Tierra may have been conscious for three minutes as she struggled to breathe in the water.

The killer’s defense lawyer Jeffrey Coghlan said Morgan, 29, acted because he believed his daughter’s mother wasn’t raising her properly. Then in an incredible understate­ment, he added that Morgan was not thinking clearly when he took his daughter’s life.

His defense team described him as a dis­traught dad whose intention was to let God decide his daughter’s fate.

And on a videotaped statement to the police, the fiend admitted that he knew Tierra was still alive when he drove off.

“I still heard some noises,” he said. “I heard her. She sounded like she was crying.”

It didn’t take long for the jury to find Morgan guilty of murder. He’s expected to be sentenced to life without parole.