Las Vegas man sentenced in toddler son's beating death


A 27-year-old Las Vegas man was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years to life in prison for beating to death his 20-month-old son.

Alfred Barnett Jr. in June pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for the 2009 death of Alfred Barnett III.

Authorities said the beating broke several ribs and collapsed the toddler's lung.

According to court records, the toddler was not breathing and had blood in his mouth when paramedics responded to a 911 call about 1 a.m. July 24, 2009, at an apartment complex in the 2800 block of Walnut Road, near Las Vegas Boulevard North.

At first, Barnett told investigators that paramedics were too rough with his son when they tried to administer CPR to him.

Barnett was watching his son while the boy's mother was at work. The toddler was healthy when the mother left, according to court records.

On Tuesday, Barnett told District Judge Douglas Herndon that he loved his son and wished that it never would have happened.

"I'm just sorry that it happened. I just wanted him to lay down. I lost my composure. I love my kids. I got other kids. I don't just go around beating on my kids," Barnett said. "I just lost my mind, you know."

He added that he thinks about his son all of the time. "It's going to stick to me. I ask the Lord to forgive me. I just wish I never even did that."

The boy's grandmother, La-Shandia Binion, testified that the defendant beat the boy's mother.

Binion said the night of her grandson's death she had told Barnett to call her if he needed help caring for the toddler. "I offered to help him. I asked him, if you need me, I'll be here. If he's too much, I'll come back," Binion said.

The next call Binion received was the one informing her that her grandson was dead.

Binion said the death has devastated her and her family.

Barnett was using methamphetamine and drinking alcohol when the incident happened, Deputy Public Defender Kristine Kuzemka said. She stressed that Barnett was not using that as an excuse. "What he did was heinous. But he is not a monster," Kuzemka said.

Herndon gave Barnett the maximum sentence allowed under the law. "You beat your child to death. I don't care if you were drinking or using methamphetamine, that's not an excuse," the judge said.

Herndon said that Barnett had a criminal history including two prior domestic violence convictions.

 

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