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Father guilty in son's death gets 80 years

Jan. 13, 2013 at 3:43 PM

GARY, Ind., Jan. 13 (UPI) -- An Indiana man was sentenced to 80 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to the neglect of his 13-year-old son, causing his death.

Riley Choate, 40, was sentenced Friday to 80 years in prison by Lake County Criminal Court Judge Diane Boswell, Northwest Indiana Times, Munster, Ind., reported.

On Dec. 14, Choate pleaded guilty to Class A felony neglect of a dependent causing death, and two Class D felonies of moving a body from a death scene in the death of his son Christian. He also pleaded guilty to depriving his daughter, Christina, of an education and being a habitual offender because of a previous auto theft conviction and a theft of service conviction in Kentucky.

Christian Choate's body was discovered buried in a shallow grave in a Gary, Ind., trailer park in May 2011, two years after he died. His body was severely malnourished and showed signs of abuse, the news report said.

Deputy Prosecutor Michael Woods said the boy was regularly beaten, kept in a dog cage and given little food.

"Words just fail me," Boswell said prior to sentencing. "A lot of people failed this baby. I can't imagine a circumstance where a parent would allow, participate [in] and encourage this. He trusted you to be the parent, and you failed him."

Before his sentencing, Riley Choate read a statement in which he said, "All my actions will haunt me forever, and I love my son."

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