D.C. man guilty of deadly baby beating
A D.C. Superior Court jury found Jonathan M. Austin guilty of first-degree felony murder and first-degree child cruelty Monday in the 2008 beating death of a 21-month-old.
Prosecutors said Austin, 35, was babysitting Ronjai Butler and Butler's 3½-year-old sister on the afternoon of Nov. 16, 2008, after Austin's girlfriend, the mother of the children, left her North Capitol Street apartment and went to the grocery store.
When she returned, she found Ronjai semi-conscious in the apartment with Austin.
An autopsy revealed that Ronjai had suffered multiple bruises and contusions, a skull fracture on the left side of his head, rib fractures and lacerations to his lungs, liver, spleen and kidneys.
During the trial, Austin claimed Ronjai was "chronically ill" and died of natural causes.
Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 28 before Judge Jennifer Anderson.
Keith L. Alexander
| November 30, 2010; 11:02 AM ET
Categories: From the Courthouse, Keith L. Alexander, The District
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