‘There Are No Words’: Man Bites 19-month-old Toddler To Death, Abuse So Brutal Doctors weep

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‘There Are No Words’: Man Bites 19-month-old Toddler To Death, Abuse So Brutal Doctors weep

A New York judge has sentenced a man to at least 25 years behind bars after being convicted of murdering his girlfriend’s toddler, as reported by Star-Gazette.

In June, a Steuben County Court jury found Dakota Miller, 23, guilty of second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter after being accused of intentionally killing 18-month-old Ian Maniske-Huff on Thanksgiving Day, 2015.

Miller cruelly abused the young toddler, quite literally biting him to death, court records indicate. In addition to bite marks, the toddler’s body was riddled with bruises, according to hospital staff. Doctors also found that the child was bleeding internally. Maniske-Huff held on for a couple of days but was pronounced dead the following Sunday. A medical examiner’s report shows the toddler died of blunt force trauma to his head and liver.

Steuben County District Attorney Brooks Baker said the victim’s death was carried out “in an especially cruel and wanton manner,” court records indicate.

The family told that this long-awaited day means they can finally move forward and try to heal.

“I am hoping now that we can lay Ian down to rest and that we can grieve and mourn the way we were supposed to,” Elizabeth McGregor, Ian’s great-aunt, said.

These are words of relief by the victim’s family now that his killer has been sentenced.

“I think he got what he deserves,” Jennifer McGregor, Ian’s second cousin, said. “He can’t hurt another child.”

Before the sentence was imposed, Elizabeth gave a statement, in her broken voice, to the courtroom explaining how she has custody of Ian’s older sister who now has behavioral issues, nightmares, and goes through counseling.

Codie Baker, Ian’s mother, present and in tears, declined to give her own statement. The defendant declined to provide a statement as well.

The defense, disappointed with the conviction back in June, says the sentence was a given.

“There wasn’t a heck of a lot of discretion and I’m not terribly surprised at Judge Brian Dennis to give him the maximum,” Defense Attorney Thomas Stahr said.

The prosecution hopes the corrections department will not release Miller on parole after serving his minimum sentence of 25 years.

“He will always be a threat,” District Attorney Brooks Baker said. “His history indicates he’s an escalating violent offender who doesn’t care who he hurts or what he does with them.”

The family is working to have a positive future for the children.

“I have the siblings and it’s going to be a long road for them, and I hope they grow up to be all right, to do alright,” Elizabeth said.

At the time of the killing, Codie Baker was pregnant with Miller’s son who is now about 19 months old and will grow up without his biological father.

An order of protection was issued to keep Miller away from the family.

“This was one of the most heinous crimes I’ve ever been in contact with,” Baker said. “We watched trial-hardened state police investigators become emotional. Emergency room doctors cried on the stand. The level of beating this poor child suffered — there are no words for it. It escapes reason and comprehension.”

Miller admitted to biting the toddler and said he “probably bit him too hard,” according to police.

Codie Baker, the child’s mother, present and in tears, declined to give her own statement at the sentencing hearing, according to WETM.

At the time of the toddler’s death, Baker was pregnant with Miller’s child. She has since given birth and the boy is now 19 months old.

Dakota Miller will serve 25 years to life behind bars for his first charge of second-degree murder. He will also serve 25 years with five years post-release supervision for his second charge of first-degree manslaughter. Both terms will be served concurrently, according to court records. It is to be noted that Miller received the maximum possible sentence given the convictions.

Baker, however, says he should never be released from prison.

“The only way to keep the community safe from someone like him is to keep him locked up forever.”

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