California man sentenced to 31 years to life for beating toddler to death

Hector Ernest Jr. found guilty of assault and felony child abuse. Mug shot via Long Beach Police Department.

LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA (BNO NEWS) — A California man has been sentenced to more than 30 years in prison for beating to death his girlfriend’s toddler son, prosecutors said on Thursday.

Hector Ernest Jr., 27, was convicted on April 12 of one count of assault on a child under age 8 causing death and one count of felony child abuse. Jurors found him not guilty of murder.

The assault happened in Long Beach on March 20, 2010, when 2-year-old Deandre Green died as a result of blunt force trauma to the abdomen. Ernest was previously convicted in 2009 for carrying a concealed firearm in a vehicle and in 2007 for possession of concentrated cannabis.

Evidence presented at a preliminary hearing revealed that 23-year-old Camero Green, the child’s biological mother and primary caretaker, failed to protect the boy and allowed him to remain in a harmful, abusive living situation.

Green was charged with one count of felony child abuse with an allegation that under circumstances and conditions likely to produce great bodily harm or death Green willfully caused and permitted the child to be harmed, resulting in his death.

Green ultimately pleaded guilty to the charge and admitted the allegation on March 11, 2011. She was sentenced to six years in state prison. Ernest, who is her boyfriend, was sentenced to 31 years to life in state prison.

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