Created on Wednesday, 12 December 2012 Written by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio man accused of abusing and killing his girlfriend's 2-year-old son has been sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.
A jury found 27-year-old Joe Watson IV guilty last month of murder and three counts of child endangering. He was sentenced in Dayton on Tuesday.
Watson was arrested in December 2011 following the death of Levi Barrett. Police said Watson took the child to the hospital, where he died as the result of blunt force trauma.
Watson apologized in court and told the judge he "didn't mean to hit him that hard."
The child's mother, 23-year-old Michelle Mooty, is charged with permitting child abuse. She's due in court next week.
Judge Frances McGee said Levi's family failed him because no one stepped in to stop the abuse.