Man gets 25-year term in death of girlfriend's son

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Juan Garcia By Jennifer Thomas Juan Garcia By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX (AP) -- A 21-year-old man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for killing his girlfriend's 2-year-old son after the boy refused to eat his dinner.
Juan Garcia was sentenced Monday by Judge Rosa Mroz of Maricopa County Superior Court after previously pleading guilty to second-degree murder and child abuse.
Garcia slammed the boy's head against a wall and then the floor multiple times after pulling him out of a bedroom by his ear.
The mother didn't seek medical help for her son for about two hours, and he was dead when responders arrived.
Wendy Rogel-Pagasa pleaded guilty to negligent homicide and child abuse. She is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 8.
The County Attorney's Office says Garcia must serve the entire prison term and then will be placed on lifetime probation.

"This defendant justly deserves the maximum allowable sentence for the savage brutality of his actions that led to the tragic and senseless death of this innocent child," said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. "There is simply no excuse for harming a child in this manner and we will continue to vigorously hold accountable those who do."


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