• Man sentenced for toddler’s beating death

    by  • August 19, 2013 • News

    A judge in southwestern Illinois has sentenced a man to 47 years in prison for beating to death his girlfriend’s 3-year old daughter. gavel 3

    The Belleville News-Democrat reports that 24-year old Julian Gates told the Saint Clair County Judge Friday that he “snapped” when the girl urinated in her bed.

    Gates, who pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, told investigators he beat Mia Caito with a belt, his hand and an extension cord.

    Investigators say the girl was covered “head to toe” in bruises and died of blunt force trauma in the January 2012 assault. In a victim impact statement, the girl’s mother, Brandy Johnson, told the court the little girl loved hugs and kisses, wearing her hair in a ponytail and watching “Dora the Explorer.”