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A Burrell Township man was sentenced today to serve time in prison for his guilty plea in the death of a 22-month old boy.

28-year-old Juan Campbell was sentenced today to serve 10 to 20 years in State Prison and was also ordered to pay court costs.  Campbell pleaded guilty to a charge of third degree murder in the suffocation death of his stepson Malachi Patterson in May of 2013.  As part of that plea, the prosecution agreed to not prosecute on charges of aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of children, and recklessly endangering another person.

Campbell and Patterson were in bed with Campbell’s 6-year old son while Patterson’s mom was at the hospital, having given birth to another child.  Patterson, who was in a body cast for a broken leg, rolled off the bed and hit his head on the nightstand.  To get the boy to stop crying, Campbell put his hand over Patterson’s mouth and nose, and he eventually stopped breathing. 

District Attorney Pat Dougherty said that he was satisfied with the verdict handed down.  He said based on the facts and evidence in the trial, the verdict and sentence were appropriate.

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