A New York judge has sentenced a man to at least 25 years behind bars after being convicted of murdering his girlfriend’s toddler, as reported by Star-Gazette.
In June, a Steuben County Court jury found Dakota Miller, 23, guilty of second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter after being accused of intentionally killing 18-month-old Ian Maniske-Huff on Thanksgiving Day, 2015.
Miller cruelly abused the young toddler, quite literally biting him to death, court records indicate. In addition to bite marks, the toddler’s body was riddled with bruises, according to hospital staff. Doctors also found that the child was bleeding internally. Maniske-Huff held on for a couple of days but was pronounced dead the following Sunday. A medical examiner’s report shows the toddler died of blunt force trauma to his head and liver.
Steuben County District Attorney Brooks Baker said the victim’s death was carried out “in an especially cruel and wanton manner,” court records indicate.
“This was one of the most heinous crimes I’ve ever been in contact with,” Baker said. “We watched trial-hardened state police investigators become emotional. Emergency room doctors cried on the stand. The level of beating this poor child suffered — there are no words for it. It escapes reason and comprehension.”
Miller admitted to biting the toddler and said he “probably bit him too hard,” according to police.
Codie Baker, the child’s mother, present and in tears, declined to give her own statement at the sentencing hearing, according to WETM.
At the time of the toddler’s death, Baker was pregnant with Miller’s child. She has since given birth and the boy is now 19 months old.
Dakota Miller will serve 25 years to life behind bars for his first charge of second-degree murder. He will also serve 25 years with five years post-release supervision for his second charge of first-degree manslaughter. Both terms will be served concurrently, according to court records. It is to be noted that Miller received the maximum possible sentence given the convictions.
Baker, however, says he should never be released from prison.
“The only way to keep the community safe from someone like him is to keep him locked up forever.”
[Featured Image:Steuben County Sheriff’s Office/Spectrum News]