BELLEVILLE (AP) — 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.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports that 24-year-old Julian Gates told the St. 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."