Man sentenced to 21 years for death of girlfriend’s son

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. –  A Kansas City man has been sentenced to 21 years in prison in the beating death of his girlfriend’s toddler.

Thirty-four-year-old Nathaniel Littlefield was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter and two counts of child endangerment in the 2016 killing of 1-year-old Messiah Henderson.

His mother said she left Messiah and his 5-month-old brother with Littlefield while she was at work. When she returned, she found Messiah unresponsive. He was rushed to a hospital, where doctors diagnosed him with a severe head injury and damaged liver. He died three days later.

Littlefield later told police that he repeatedly struck Messiah but only to resuscitate him. He also acknowledged that he left Messiah and his brother home alone while he picked up their mother from work.

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