Mesa County Man Admits Abuse In Boy’s Death

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) — A Grand Junction man has admitted to beating a 19-month old to death in a plea agreement that leaves him facing 24 to 36 years in prison.

Twenty-six-year-old Justin Keel has acknowledged a pattern of abuse caused the death of little Owen Reak. The toddler died at Montrose Memorial Hospital earlier this year after he was beaten hard enough to rupture his intestines.

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports that Keel pleaded guilty Tuesday to a single count of child abuse resulting in death.

Keel faces 24 to 36 years in prison under a plea agreement. The Mesa County District Attorney’s Office has agreed to dismiss a first-degree murder charge. Keel will be sentenced Feb. 15.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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