SHELBYVILLE, Ind. (WISH) - A Shelbyville man was sentenced to 45 years in prison for his role in the death of his girlfriend's 22-month-old son, 24-Hour News 8 news partner the Shelbyville News reports.
Nathan Barker pleaded guilty in September to battery resulting in death and had faced as much as a 50-year sentence. Thursday, a Shelby County judge sentenced him to that, with five years suspended. He will also serve six months on home detention after his release.
In August 2011, the toddler, Jasper Simpson, died at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health . Barker was alone with the boy the day he was taken to the hospital, according to court documents, while his mother was at work. Barker told his girlfriend the boy hit his head when he fell of the couch and that he had called an ambulance but medics said the boy was only bruised. However, investigators found that Barker never called for an ambulance that day.
Jasper's mom, Amanda Simpson, reported the boy was sleepy when she returned home from work that day, so she fed him a Popsicle, according to court documents. But, the boy vomited as a result. She put him in his bed to sleep, but when she went to check on him he wasn't breathing.
Doctors found Jasper had brain hemorrhaging, a lacerated spleen, abrasions on his cheek, neck and shoulder, and genital injuries. One doctor told police the injuries were "non-accidental," according to the probable cause affidavit.
In arguing for a long prison sentence, Shelby County Prosecutor Kent Apsley noted the severity of the beating, which doctors described as injuries from shaking with throwing in their reports. The baby suffered bleeding in the brain, damaged eyes, lacerated spleen, damaged organs, internal bleeding, bruises on his face and bruises and abrasions all over his body, Apsley pointed out.
He said doctors at Riley Hospital called it a "constellation of injuries."
During the sentencing hearing, investigators, family members and even the judge spoke to the disturbing, tragic nature of the case.
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