GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) – A western Michigan man has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for the beating death of his girlfriend’s 4-year-old son.

Elis Ortiz-Nieves struggled with officers and at one point was forcibly removed from the courtroom while Kent County Circuit Court Judge Mark Trusock described injuries suffered by Giovanni Mejias prior to his June 13 death. An autopsy showed the boy died from internal bleeding caused by an abdominal tear. He also suffered seven blows to his head, and cigarettes were extinguishes on his body.

Trusock told Ortiz-Nieves, “You are a monster and quite frankly, you are evil.”

Ortiz-Nieves told the packed courtroom he never abused the boy. He was convicted of felony murder and first-degree child abuse.
The victim’s grandmother, Nora Villarreal-Mulero, says Ortiz-Nieves “tore our family apart.”


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