West Virginia Man Sentenced To Life For Killing Girlfriend's 4-Year-Old Son

FAIRMONT, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia man has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in the death of his girlfriend's 4-year-old son.

A judge handed down the sentence on Monday to Walter Richardson, 36, of Fairmont during a brief hearing, WBOY-TV reported. Richardson was charged in 2021 with first-degree murder and death of a child by abuse. He pleaded no contest to the murder charge during his trial in December.

Before being sentenced, Richardson apologized to the victim’s family and the community and asked for forgiveness.

The boy was found unresponsive at his home in March 2021 and was declared dead a few days later. Police said in a criminal complaint that he suffered head trauma, lacerations to his lips, broken teeth and bruises.

The boy's mother, Ashlee Allen, pleaded guilty to charges of child neglect and was sentenced last year to serve between five and 35 years in prison.