- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 7, 2015

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A Central Falls man has been sentenced to life in prison for the beating death of his girlfriend’s 6-year-old son.

Thirty-three-year-old Michael Patino was sentenced Tuesday by a Providence County Superior Court judge.

A jury convicted Patino in April of second-degree murder.

State medical examiners testified during the trial that Marco Nieves died when his intestines were ruptured by a blow to his midsection.

The key evidence in the case included cellphone messages sent by Patino and Oliver indicating Patino had hit the boy. The state Supreme Court ruled last summer they were admissible.

Patino’s attorney, David A. Cooper, placed the blame for Marco’s death on the child’s mother, Trisha Oliver, who was not charged.

A judge denied Patino’s motion for a new trial in May.

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