Richards put Gore on a counter near the sink, which he then fell from, hitting the back of his head on the mirror, prosecutors said. He then put the child on a towel on the floor before allegedly pulling the towel out from under him, causing the child to hit his head again.
The child was then put to bed while Richards looked up medical conditions, unconsciousness and head trauma online, prosecutors said. Richards also allegedly admitted to using a belt to discipline the 3-year-old, which resulted in bruises across his body.
The child suffered multiple skull fractures, brain bleeding, a stroke and seizures before dying at an Atlanta-area hospital.
Richards faced nine charges, including two counts of felony murder, one count of malice murder, aggravated battery and three more child cruelty charges, but those were dropped as part of the plea deal, District Attorney Herb Cranford said.
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Richards was sentenced to 25 years in prison without parole followed by 25 years on probation, Cranford said. He will receive time served for the days he spent in jail following his arrest.
Cranford added that the child’s parents were consulted before the state accepted the plea agreement, and they “are satisfied with this sentence in lieu of what would have been an emotionally difficult trial.”
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