Death penalty stands for Mesa tot's killer

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PHOENIX  -- The Arizona Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence handed down to a man who killed his girlfriend's 2-year-old son because he considered the boy an obstacle to his relationship with the woman.

Derek Don Chappell was given the sentence for the 2004 drowning death of Devon Shackleford in a Mesa apartment complex swimming pool.

His attorneys argued that his confession to the crime should have been excluded, that jurors should not have counted the drowning of the awake boy as especially cruel, that prosecutors committed misconduct and that improper jury instructions were given.

The high court rejected those arguments and others in a ruling issued on Tuesday and affirmed the 28-year-old's death sentence.

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