- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 15, 2017

RUTLAND, Vt. (AP) - A man who pleaded guilty to killing his 2-year-old stepdaughter in a case that helped lead to changes in Vermont’s child protection laws has been sentenced to 13 years in prison as part of a plea deal.

Dennis Duby appeared in court in Rutland on Tuesday.

Earlier this year, Duby pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the February 2014 death of 2-year-old Dezirae Sheldon, of Poultney.

At the time, Dezirae’s family was under state supervision. Two months later, a 15-month-old child from Winooski died shortly after being visited by a state social worker.

The deaths helped spark a series of changes to Vermont’s child protection system, including increased staffing levels.

Duby has said he didn’t mean to injure Dezirae.

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