DALLAS (CBS) During his six short years, Christopher Dotson endured torture, and beatings, ending in a painful death. Wednesday, a Dallas County jury convicted Anthony Beckett, the boyfriend of Dotson's mother, in the killing, and sentenced him to 80 years behind bars.
Photo: Christopher Dotson, 6, died from torturous beatings.
According to The Dallas Morning News, Beckett told police he thought the boy would grow up and kill him, so he repeatedly dunked the child under water in a bathtub and beat him, which caused the 6-year old's death in January, 2009.
Paramedics found Christopher unresponsive on the floor, covered in bruises. The killer told detectives he repeatedly struck the boy all over his body with a belt, reported the newspaper, which said Beckett hit Dotson in the stomach and on the buttocks until his own hands hurt.
Beckett's defense team hoped jurors would consider arguments about the defendant's mental illness when deciding his sentence. His family hoped for probation, said the paper. However, the jury rejected the idea that Beckett was so mentally ill that he wasn't aware beating Christopher was wrong.
While speaking softly and rambling on the stand, Beckett told the prosecutor that if he had been on medicine he was "pretty sure" Dotson would not have died. At age 5, Beckett, was severely burned while playing with fire. He grew up with both of his parents addicted to crack cocaine, claimed the Texas paper, while sometimes living in a homeless shelter.
Christopher Dotson's mother is also charged in connection with her son's death. Her trial date is pending.