Jul 23, 2021 1:00 AM

Missouri man sentenced in death of girlfriend's 4-month-old

Posted Jul 23, 2021 1:00 AM
Coleman photo St. Charles Co.
Coleman photo St. Charles Co.

ST. CHARLES, Mo. (AP) — An O'Fallon man has been sentenced to life in prison in the death of his girlfriend's 4-month-old son.

Devon M. Coleman, 34, was sentenced Monday for the death of Dexter Gabel on Dec. 7, 2017, at a home in O'Fallon. Coleman was convicted in May of child abuse resulting in death.

Court documents say Coleman told police he put the child into a crib for a nap after he would not stop crying. He said Dexter was not breathing when he returned.

A medical examiner determined the infant's injuries were consistent with asphyxiation by strangling or smothering, and he had bruises on his head and face.

In July, Coleman's attorneys sought to preserve evidence for DNA testing, They argued Dexter died of natural causes because he had blood clots throughout his body from various disorders.

Prosecutors disputed the theory at trial.