Court affirms life sentence in child's death

Court affirms life sentence in child's death

CREATED Jul 16, 2013

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - An Oklahoma appeals court has upheld the life prison sentence of a 25-year-old former jailer convicted of first-degree murder in the death of a 3-year-old child.

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals handed down the decision Tuesday in the case of former Washington County jailer Joshua Robert Benton. Benton was convicted in 2012 of the death of Christian Norris.

Benton was charged after officers found the boy unresponsive and not breathing on Dec. 7, 2010. The state Medical Examiner's office says the child died from complications of a fracture in his lower back due to blunt force trauma.

Benton claims he was holding the boy when he began to flail in his arms. Prosecutors say the boy was pushed so hard that he suffered the fatal fracture.

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