- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 22, 2015

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) - An Asheville man will spend at least 18 years behind bars after pleading guilty to killing his girlfriend’s young son.

The Asheville Citizen-Times (https://avlne.ws/1HIgr9B ) reports that Judge Alan Thornburg on Monday sentenced 24-year-old Michael A. Dixon Jr. to a minimum of 225 months and a maximum of 279 months in state prison for the October 2011 death of 4-year-old Cedric Francois.

Dixon had been initially been charged with first-degree murder, but he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and intentional child abuse inflicting serious bodily injury in the plea hearing in Buncombe County Superior Court.

Prosecutor Rodney Hasty says the district attorney’s office agreed to the plea because investigators didn’t believe Dixon intended to kill the boy when he struck him in the face after the child accidentally soiled himself.

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Information from: The Asheville Citizen-Times, https://www.citizen-times.com

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