GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) – Jurors have convicted a western Michigan man in the beating death of his girlfriend’s 4-year-old son.

A Kent County jury reached the verdict Thursday, finding 29-year-old Elis Ortiz-Nieves guilty of felony murder and first-degree child abuse in the June death of Giovanni Mejias in Gaines Township near Grand Rapids.

A medical examiner said Giovanni suffered significant blunt-force trauma that resulted in a 4-centimeter tear in his abdominal tissue and a puncture in his bowels, causing him to die of internal bleeding. Authorities say Ortiz-Nieves claimed Giovanni was sick and he tried to get the boy to vomit by poking at his stomach.

Six other children were removed from the home. Authorities say Ortiz-Nieves cared for the children while his girlfriend worked.

His sentencing hearing was scheduled for Jan. 11.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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