A 24-year-old man was sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison Wednesday in the beating death of his girlfriend’s 16-month-old son.
Stephen Douglas Hoffman was convicted in February of second-degree murder and assault on a child in the death of Malaikye Payne, according to a news release from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Prosecutors said the crime occurred on the night of Aug. 13, 2011 while Hoffman was watching Malaikye while his mother worked an overnight shift.
At around 2:20 a.m., prosecutors said Hoffman texted the mother an image of the boy with a developing bruise on his face, telling her that the child fell off the bed and onto a toy.
When the mother arrived home around 6 a.m. she went to bed only to be alerted by Hoffman three hours later that Malaikye was having trouble breathing, the release stated.
The mother called 911, but the child was brain dead upon arrival at the hospital.
He was taken off life-support on Aug. 15, 2011.
At trial, coroner’s officials testified that Malaikye suffered as many as 21 blows to the head, according to the release.
Doctors from the hospital testified that it was one of the worst injuries they had seen on a child, the release stated.