A 31-year-old man in Hagerstown, Maryland, charged in the death of a 9-year-old over a missing slice of birthday cake, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Thursday, reports The Associated Press.
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The man, Robert Leroy Wilson, was sentenced to 30 years in prison by Maryland’s Washington County Circuit Judge M. Kenneth Long, who likened the treatment of the child, Jack Garcia, to torture.
Via The AP:
For weeks before the beating, Jack Garcia was a virtual prisoner in the Hagerstown apartment he shared with his mother, her brother and her fiance Robert Leroy Wilson, a prosecutor said. Jack was routinely deprived of food if Wilson felt the boy hadn’t exerted himself enough, and he was handcuffed to a chair or beaten with a bamboo sword if he took food without permission, the evidence showed.
“What a bleak existence this little person had,” said Washington County Circuit Judge M. Kenneth Long.
Wilson, 31, accepted responsibility for Jack’s death but didn’t acknowledge striking the blow that caused his death from a head injury July 5. In return, prosecutors dropped seven other charges of child abuse, assault, neglect and reckless endangerment.
The report notes that “Jack’s mother Oriana Garcia and maternal uncle Jacob Barajas are also charged with second-degree murder. They’re scheduled for trial May 17. Neither has entered a plea.”
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