A Sedgwick County judge on Thursday ordered a 22-year-old man convicted of killing his girlfriend’s toddler in 2015 to serve life in prison plus 55 months.
Jurors convicted Michael C. Ross in March of second-degree intentional murder, an alternative charge of first-degree felony murder, and child abuse for the death of 17-month-old Grace Harris. Prosecutors accused Ross of inflicting fatal injuries on the girl, including tipping a television over onto her and knocking her legs out from underneath her as she played in the bathroom sink, while he was baby-sitting her and her older sister at their south Wichita home on Nov. 9, 2015.
Grace’s mother was working at the time she was harmed. The girl suffered brain bleeding and swelling, a liver laceration and bruising and died five days later.
Ross had pleaded not guilty to the charges.
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Ross’s life sentence carries parole eligibility after 25 years, according to Dan Dillon, spokesman for the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office. He can’t begin serving the 55-month portion of his sentence until he’s granted parole on the life term.