- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 12, 2016

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) - An airman based at Barksdale Air Force Base has pleaded guilty to killing his toddler stepson.

The Air Force, in a news release, said Airman 1st Class Colton Ballance pleaded guilty during a military court martial held Tuesday at the federal courthouse in Shreveport. He was sentenced to 34 years in prison, reduced in rank to E-1 (Airman Basic) and dishonorably discharged.

Ballance, assigned to the 2nd Security Forces Squadron, has been in custody since Oct. 14, 2015.

A day earlier, Ballance’s wife called base emergency officials to report that she believed her son, Cole Corkern, had died. The child had been put to bed the night before and authorities said when she went to check on him that following morning he was unresponsive.

Ballance was questioned and later arrested.

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