A northern Indiana man has been sentenced to 100 years in prison for beating his 4-year-old stepson to death.
An Elkhart County judge sentenced Christian Maradiaga, 20, of Elkhart on Thursday in Romeo Pineda Duran’s June 2021 death. A jury had convicted Maradiaga in September of murder, neglect of a dependent resulting in death, and interference with the reporting of a crime.
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Maradiaga claimed his stepson fell in the shower and hit his head before later dying of his injuries at a hospital. But medical examiners and witnesses testified during his trial that the evidence showed the boy was beaten so severely he became brain-dead, The Goshen News reported.
Prosecutors said Maradiaga’s biological son was also present when Romeo was fatally beaten.
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Romeo’s aunt, Jennifer Duran Hernandez, testified during Thursday’s sentencing, saying that “the day we got to say goodbye to my nephew was the hardest day of my life.”