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Racine man convicted in toddler’s death

RACINE, Wis. (AP) — A Racine man has been convicted of delivering a fatal blow to a toddler who had spilled milk on his baby sister.

The Racine Journal Times reports it took jurors about 80 minutes Thursday to convict 44-year-old Manuel Garcia of first-degree reckless homicide in the death of 2-year-old Jovani Martinez.

Deputy District Attorney Tricia Hanson told jurors Garcia punched Jovani on March 11, 2010, rupturing his small intestine. She said he didn’t survive more than 12 hours.

Garcia testified he struck the toddler several times to discipline him that afternoon.

Defense attorney David Saldana told jurors that police should have tried harder to determine if the death was an accident.

Sentencing is set for Nov. 7. The prosecutor said she hasn’t decided how much prison time she’ll seek.

Information from: The Journal Times,

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