DENVER (AP) — The Colorado Court of Appeals has ordered a new sentence for a man convicted of starving a 7-year-old to death while forcing him to spend his last few days in a closet.

The court ruled Thursday that consecutive sentences of life in prison for Jon Phillips on his convictions of first-degree murder and 48 years for fatal child abuse are improper because the charges were based on the same evidence in the May 2007 death of Chandler Grafner.

The court ruled that the sentences should be served at the same time.

jon phillips and sarah berry Murder Sentence Changed In Boys Starvation Death

Jon Phillips and Sarah Berry (credit: CBS)

The ruling is expected to have little impact because of his life sentence.

A state watchdog program was set up following the deaths of at least 45 children in the child welfare system over five years, including Grafner.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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