A Texas man who had faced the death penalty for stomping an 18-month-old baby to death was instead sentenced to life in prison on Monday, the Fort-Worth Star Telegram reported.
Joshua Beard, 24, was convicted of killing his girlfriend’s child, Tylea Moore, in July 2014. He also received a 20-year sentence for evidence tampering. The sentences will be served concurrently.
According to Beard’s arrest warrant, he and his girlfriend, Alexis Botello, then 17, were at their home on July 4 when Beard called Tylea “the little demon” and threw her onto a bed with such force that she bounced up and landed on the floor.
That’s when Beard repeatedly stomped on the baby’s stomach until she vomited, Botello told police.
When she tried to stop Beard, he choked and beat her too, Botello said.
When the couple realized Tylea had stopped breathing, the couple tried to revive her with CPR, but failed.
They then took Tylea’s body and drove to an adjacent county, where they bought gloves and two shovels in a Walmart before digging a grave under a bridge and burying the child there, clad in a diaper and wrapped in a blue blanket, the newspaper reported.
The next day, Beard was arrest on drug charges and traffic violations.
Two days after that, on July 6, family members filed a missing persons report when Botello couldn’t account for her child. Police questioned her and she eventually confessed that Beard had killed her baby but that “he didn’t mean to do it.”
Botello then lead investigators to her baby’s grave. She faces an evidence tampering charge, which is still pending.
The baby also had bite marks on her, according to the Medical Examiner’s office.
The baby’s father, a Marine, returned to Texas after his baby’s death.
Capital murder trials are split into two parts, one for determining guilt and a second for determining punishment. During the punishment phase of Beard’s trial, jurors heard testimony from two of his ex-girlfriends that he beat them too, according to the Dallas Morning News.
In Texas, a life sentence means life without the possibility of parole. Beard will die in prison.
[Photos: Tarrant County Sheriff's Office]
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxgen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.