- Associated Press - Thursday, November 3, 2016

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) - A Washington County man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for beating his girlfriend’s then-6-year-old autistic son.

The Herald-Mail reports (https://bit.ly/2eE3rIH) that 22-year-old Aaron Vanmeter was sentenced Tuesday in the beating of Dustin Barnhart of Hancock in July 2015.

Vanmeter was convicted in July of first-degree child abuse resulting in severe physical injury and other offenses. The boy’s mother, Ashley Barnhart, has pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree child abuse and was sentenced to seven years in prison. She testified for the prosecution in its case against Vanmeter.

Dustin’s grandfather, Benjamin McFadden, told the judge that Dustin’s left side is still not fully functional. He says the boy suffers migraines and nausea and will have pain “for the rest of his life.”

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Information from: The Herald-Mail of Hagerstown, Md., https://www.herald-mail.com

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