- Associated Press - Friday, May 27, 2016

SEARCY, Ark. (AP) - A Searcy man has been sentenced to 40 years in prison in the death of his 2-year-old son.

Forty-three-year-old Jeffery Clifton was sentenced Friday to 30 years for second-degree murder in the death of Malik Drummond and to 10 more years for abuse of a corpse.

Clifton pleaded no contest to the charges Friday after the murder charge was reduced from capital murder, which could have resulted in a death penalty or life in prison if Clifton were convicted.

Clifton initially told investigators that Malik wandered away from home in November 2014. However, Clifton’s ex-girlfriend later said the child died after being disciplined by Clifton.

Clifton was arrested in December 2015 and led authorities to the boy’s body in a remote area of Jackson County, about 40 miles from Searcy.

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Editors: This version corrects the spelling of “old” in the 2nd paragraph.

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