An Illinois man was sentenced to 24 years in prison for the 2014 beating of a 7-week-old infant he was caring for, the Madison County State's Attorney's Office said on Sept. 29.
The baby, named Owen, was born on July 7, 2014, and hospitalized on Sept. 8, 2014 for difficulty breathing, KTVI reports. Hospital staff determined that the child’s breathing troubles were the result of rib fractures, and they also discovered that the child had sustained leg injuries.
The injuries were not accidental and not the result of a single incident, medical staff concluded.
Investigators later determined that the infant’s injuries were consistent with a pattern of abuse, and 21-year-old Kamryn Kerr, of Granite City, Illinois, — who’d been caring for the child — was arrested along with the child’s 20-year-old mother, Ashlee Wethington.
Kerr was first believed to be the baby’s biological father, though that was later discovered not to be the case.
Kerr was convicted in January on three counts of battery and has now been sentenced to 24 years in prison. He must serve 85 percent of his sentence before being considered for parole.
"If you look at what happened to Owen in his 7 week life, it's horrific," Circuit Judge Kyle Napp, who sentenced Kerr, said, according to the Belleville News-Democrat.
Wethington’s case is reportedly pending.