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Boyfriend gets 20 years in toddler’s fatal beating

CINCINNATI – An Ohio man accused of fatally beating his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son has been sentenced to 20 years to life in prison in a plea agreement.

The Hamilton County prosecutor’s spokeswoman said 34-year-old Anthony Pierson was sentenced Thursday.

Authorities said Pierson was watching 2-year-old James Lee Livesay on March 12 when the boy’s mother returned and found the toddler unresponsive in her Sycamore Township home in suburban Cincinnati.

The prosecutor’s spokeswoman said Pierson was allowed to plead guilty Jan. 7 to an aggravated murder count without death penalty specifications. Pierson could have been sentenced to death if convicted of the original charge of aggravated murder with those specifications.

Pierson’s attorney, Norman Aubin, said the case was a tragedy. He said he thinks the sentence was in the range of similar cases.