Effinham, Illinois– Lester Griffin, a 24-year-old Indiana man was convicted of murder Thursday after he allegedly punched a hole into a 3-year-old child’s heart. Effingham County jurors deliberated for less than three hours before returning eight guilty verdicts in the murder of 3-year-old Dylan Helmey. Eight guilty verdicts because of the hell the child endured in the final two hours of his life, according to police.
Prosecutors say Griffin was at home watching his girlfriend’s 3-year-old son in June, 2009, when Griffin punched the toddler so hard in the chest, the blow ripped a hole in his heart. Bruising on the boy’s chest reportedly showed a knuckle pattern allegedly caused by Griffin. A medical examiner testified that the child had endured 70 injuries that occurred within two hours of his death. The boy also reportedly had other injuries that were in different stages of healing including recently broken ribs and a black eye. Griffin earlier told investigators during a taped interview that he assaulted the toddler after discovering he and another child had gotten into his compact disk collection.
“The last two hours of that little boy’s life were spent being brutalized by that man,” said prosecutors. “Not only did he cause 70 injuries and the blow to the chest, he let him lay there and die.”
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By the time you finish reading this, 15 children will have been abused; In the next five minutes, 30 more; Within the next hour, 360 more; And by tonight, close to 8,000+ children will have suffered from abuse, 5 of which will die. Child abuse has increased 134% since 1980 and is now considered a worldwide epidemic. The high jump in child abuse deaths and the shocking increase in statistics highlights the frightening lack of public knowledge.
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