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Mother, Boyfriend Plead Guilty In Death Of 5-Year-Old Boy

By Dan Wing

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office says the mother of a five-year-old boy that was brutally beaten to death, and her boyfriend will both spend 25 to 50 years in prison for the heinous crime.

Christian Patrick, 26, and Lashay Patterson, 25, each pleaded guilty to third-degree murder, conspiracy and related offenses in the death of Patterson's five-year-old son, Dashawn Harris.

Assistant District Attorney Bridget Kirn prosecuted the case. She says the defendants called emergency responders to a home on North 13th Street in December of 2012, because the five-year-old was unconscious. Kirn says firefighters suspected abuse as soon as they saw the little boy.

"There was not an inch of this child's body that wasn't covered with signs of physical abuse. He had bruises, he had abrasions, he had cuts, and parts of his body were burned," Kirn said.

Kirn says the couple initially lied about the abuse, but later Patterson admitted it had been ongoing for three months.

"But that she preferred Christian Patrick to hit, because he could hit harder. Christian Patrick gave a statement, where he admitted that he had been hitting this child some two days a week, at a minimum, since September," Kirn said.

Kirn says the burns the child suffered were from a hair dryer, and that the boy had signs of previous injuries that were still healing.

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