Man gets death for fatally beating girlfriend's daughter

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Dauntorian Sanders By Mike Gertzman Dauntorian Sanders By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX (AP) -- A man has been sentenced to death for fatally beating his live-in girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter in Chandler.

Maricopa County prosecutors say 28-year-old Dauntorian Sanders also was sentenced Friday to 19 1/2 years in prison for two counts of child abuse. He was convicted of first-degree murder.

Chandler police say Schala Vera was found in her home, lying between a toilet and a bathroom sink where she crawled to hide on Aug. 31, 2009.

They say she wasn't breathing and was covered with bruises and belt marks on her arms, legs, torso and head.

The toddler later died at a hospital.

"Schala deserved to be loved and cared for by those charged with her safekeeping. Instead they perpetrated acts of horrific abuse that ended Schala's life far too soon," said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. "The jury's verdict of death is a just punishment for a brutal crime our society can never countenance," he added.

A police report said Sanders beat the girl with belts frequently over the last three months of her life.

An autopsy showed Schala died of massive blunt force trauma.

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