A jury Wednesday found an Oklahoma City man guilty in the 2011 child abuse death of a 3-year-old girl.
The jury sentenced Freddy Mendez, 26, to life in prison without the possibility of parole on the first-degree murder charge and gave him a life sentence on the child abuse charge.
Mendez was convicted of fatally injuring 3-year-old Alexis Hawkins at a northwest Oklahoma City apartment.
The girl died of her injuries Oct. 30, 2011, at The Children's Hospital at OU Medical Center.
The girl's mother, Victoria Phanhtharath, testified that Mendez was an abusive and controlling boyfriend who treated her daughter from a previous relationship differently from the son the couple had together.
She told jurors Mendez had hit and kicked her daughter and then picked her up and threw her down before Alexis became violently ill and medical help was sought.
Phanhtharath pleaded guilty in March to enabling child abuse and murder by permitting child abuse. She was given a life sentence with all but the first 35 years suspended.
Medical professionals testified that Alexis' injuries were caused by extreme force and that they could not have occurred accidentally.
Dr. John Stuemky, who treated the girl before her death, told jurors that the girl's body was covered in bruises when he examined her and that nothing could have been done to save her life.
Medical examiner Dr. Chai Choi testified that the girl died of blunt force trauma and that her death was a homicide.
Mendez's defense attorney Perry Hudson argued that though the cause of her death was undisputed, the prosecution could not prove that Mendez caused the injuries.
Hudson pointed out conversations with family members that indicated Phanhtharath was unstable and that her family had contacted the Department of Human Services in reference to statements she made to them.
Sentencing is set for Nov. 8.