Man convicted, sentenced for death of toddler

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A 20-year-old man whose girlfriend’s young niece died in his care has been sentenced to at least 15 years in an Ohio prison.

Cleveland.com reports a jury in Cleveland on Friday convicted 20-year-old Tariq Debardeleben of murder, felonious assault and endangering children in the August 2017 death of 15-month-old Morgan Dillard.

Authorities said Morgan died while Debardeleben was babysitting her and five other small children at an apartment complex in the Cleveland suburb of Warrensville Heights. Debardeleben told investigators Morgan’s body went limp when he began dressing her after a bath. Debardeleben called 911 and the toddler died at a hospital.

The Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH’-guh) County medical examiner ruled Morgan died from blunt-force trauma.

Tom Shaughnessy, one of Debardeleben’s attorneys, said Saturday that he’s disappointed with the jury’s verdict.

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