CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – A West Virginia man has been sentenced to life in prison with the chance for parole in the death of a 2-year-old boy he was baby-sitting.
Media outlets report 25-year-old Jarrel Stricklen of South Charleston was sentenced Thursday in Kanawha County Circuit Court after pleading guilty to a murder charge. He will be eligible for parole after serving 15 years.
Stricklen admitted he did not seek help or aid Gavin Aldridge when he stopped breathing in May 2015.
Stricklen initially told police the boy drowned in a bathtub. In court, he said the boy was put in a freezer because Stricklen was scared and didn’t want to go to prison for life.
An autopsy determined the boy died of assault and asphyxiation with the possibility of hypothermia.