- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 16, 2016

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A Granite City man convicted of first-degree murder in the 2012 beating death of his girlfriend’s 21-month-old son has been sentenced to 70 years in prison.

A Madison County jury deliberated for three hours in February before finding 42-year-old John Holman III guilty.

The mother of Jashean Rusher left him in the care of Holman. The child’s grandmother found him covered in bruises and not breathing. He was later pronounced dead at Gateway Regional Medical Center in Granite City.

An autopsy determined more than 50 wounds had been inflicted on the toddler. During Holman’s trial, forensic pathologist Dr. Raj Nanduri testified some of the injuries the child suffered were consistent with those inflicted by the knuckles of an adult.

Defense attorney Evelyn Lewis said she intends to appeal the conviction, adding Holman continues to assert his innocence.

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