A Maplewood man was sentenced Thursday to 25 years in prison for beating his girlfriend's toddler to death last year.
Leb Mike Meak, 36, pleaded guilty in September in Ramsey County District Court to second-degree murder without intent in the February 2015 death of 18-month-old Genesis Xiong.
At his plea hearing, Meak said he punched, squeezed and threw the girl after she made a mess one night at the Maplewood home he shared with his parents.
"I disciplined her," Meak quietly said at the hearing.
The beating occurred after Genesis threw CDs off a shelf in the living room. Meak admitted to grabbing her by the chest and squeezing "pretty hard" with both hands and then throwing her, causing her head to hit a wall. He also hit her in the stomach several times with a closed fist. Prosecutors have said they believe Genesis suffered abuse over a long period of time.
Genesis' mother, Lia Pearson, has been charged with child endangerment and manslaughter for allegedly leaving Genesis in Meak's care even after Meak's two sons from a different relationship warned her of the abuse. Her case is pending.