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Grand Junction man gets 36 yrs for killing toddler

12:16 PM, Feb 16, 2013   |    comments
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) - A Grand Junction man who acknowledged beating a 19-month old boy to death has been sentenced to 36 years in prison.

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports District Judge Valerie Robison sentenced 26-year-old Justin Keel on Friday for the death of Owen Reak. In a deal with prosecutors, Keel pleaded guilty to child abuse resulting in death.

The boy's mother - Keel's ex-girlfriend - told investigators she was showering at the couple's home the morning of April 10, 2012, when she heard noises and saw Keel holding her son. Keel explained Owen was fussy after falling off the bed and denied hurting the boy.

The toddler, who died at Montrose Memorial Hospital a day later, was beaten hard enough that his intestines were ruptured.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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