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Suburban Denver man gets 48 years for toddler’s death

August 4, 2018

DENVER (AP) — A suburban Denver man convicted in the death of his girlfriend’s 2-year-old daughter has been sentenced to 48 years in prison.

The Denver Post reports 29-year-old Joseph Barela, of Westminster, was sentenced Friday for the January 2017 death. He was convicted in June of several counts, including fatal child abuse.

Prosecutors say the child was left in Barela’s care when her mother went to work. Ten minutes later, Barela called the mother to say the toddler was having a hard time breathing. She died at a hospital the following day.

Samantha had been potty-trained, and Barela and the mother argued about punishment for toileting “accidents.” The mother insisted there not be any physical punishment, but prosecutors say Barela disagreed and there was evidence of an accident the day she was found unconscious.

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Information from: The Denver Post, http://www.denverpost.com

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