- Associated Press - Thursday, May 1, 2014

SOMERSET, Pa. (AP) - A western Pennsylvania man will spend up to 12 years in prison for the smothering death of his girlfriend’s 18-month-old daughter in November 2011, and for injuring his own 3-year-old son during a disciplinary “time out” a year earlier.

Twenty-eight-year-old Cody Schartiger, of Ursina, continued to maintain his innocence when he was sentenced Wednesday by a Somerset County judge. Schartiger says he pleaded guilty last month simply because he risked more prison time if he were convicted at trial.

Somerset County prosecutors say Cody Schartiger abused the girl while her mother was sleeping at their Ursina home. Baylee Svenungsen died of asphyxiation due to smothering neck compression before she was found in her crib.

Schartiger was sentenced to four to 10 years in the girl’s death, plus two months to two years in prison for endangering his son.

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