On May 26, a judge found John Hardee guilty of second-degree murder after putting Harley Williams in a bathtub with scalding hot water and then neglecting to take her to a nearby hospital for help in 2018.
After Hardee’s release from prison, he will have five years of probation and must have no contact with minors.
During the sentencing, Hardee told the judge he regrets what happened and claimed he didn’t mean to hurt his girlfriend’s child.
Hardee said, "Your honor, there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t wish we didn’t make different decisions. It was not malicious."
However, prosecutors argued that Hardee is a danger to the public, especially after failing to act quickly when Harley got severely burned. After the incident happened, Hardee texted his girlfriend, Shelby Love: “I’m going to jail.”
Hardee also has a previous conviction from 2013 for beating his 14-month-old son, prosecutors said.
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The judge agreed with prosecutors, going above the recommended guidelines, saying the act was “not done out of ignorance, but out of selfishness,” WVEC reported.
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