CHICAGO (CBS) — A Hobart man pleaded guilty on Wednesday just as his trial was winding down on charges stemming from the death of his ex-girlfriend’s three-year old son.
Levi Hiatt entered the guilty plea of neglect of a dependent in exchange for a 30-year prison sentence.
The 28-year-old man had been facing up to 65 years in jail if convicted on a murder charge.
Hiatt was accused of injuring the boy and then not calling an ambulance for 19 hours.
Evidence presented in the trial, which began Sept. 24, showed little Comer Watkins suffered severe head and groin injuries, including a subdural hematoma — bleeding under the lining that surrounds the brain.
Dr. Ponni Arunkumar of the Cook County (Ill.) Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the death a homicide as a result of the subdural hematoma that was caused by blunt force trauma as a result of child abuse.
Jurors saw photos of the boy’s body, which had bruises on his back, buttocks, arm and leg, as well as evidence of the extensive trauma to the top, side and back of his head.
Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this story