Southern Indiana man convicted in 4-year-old son's death given 40-year prison sentence
Christopher Bruck received the sentence on Monday afternoon.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A southern Indiana man found guilty in the death of his disabled 4-year-old son has been sentenced to 40 years behind bars.
Christopher Bruck received the sentence on Monday afternoon. He was found guilty of aggravated battery causing death and neglect resulting in death.
Court documents show Bruck says he was watching TV at home when he "lost control" and struck his son, 4-year-old Hayden Dukes, in the forehead. The child hit his head on the carpeted concrete floor. Reports show Bruck waited 90 minutes to call for an ambulance.
Dukes was non-verbal, autistic and had DiGeorge syndrome, which made him especially small for a 4-year-old. The child only weighed about 30 pounds.
In court Monday, Bruck's wife testified and asked the judge for a lenient sentence, saying it would be a hardship on her family. The defense also pointed out that Bruck has no criminal history.
The prosecutor also had witnesses that gave testimony. Dukes' mother and aunts gave tearful pleas for the harshest punishment possible.
After the judge ruled the max of 40 years, the families erupted in the hallway.
Dukes' aunt Rebecca Crawford said, "They're going home tonight to three kids that are walking, that are going to eat dinner, that are going to have a birthday next year, they're going to home to that. And that we're going home to the memory of a 4-year-old child who is gone and is never coming back."
Bruck's wife, Yulanda, said, "There can never be a happy outcome on either side. They lost a son and I lost a husband. And our kids lost their father."
In addition to the 40-year prison sentence, Bruck was also sentenced to 2.5 years of probation.
Bruck told the judge he plans to appeal the sentence.
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