State

Man gets 47 years for fatal beating of 3-year-old

Man gets 47 years for fatal beating of 3-year-old

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."

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