A 25-year-old man allegedly angered after learning he wasn’t the father of his girlfriend’s baby has been given a 30-year term for beating the child to death.
Chris M. McMorris of Minneapolis was sentenced Tuesday in Hennepin County District Court for an attack nearly two years ago in the girlfriend’s Brooklyn Park home that killed 7-month-old Trinity Shelby.
With credit for time in jail since his arrest, McMorris will serve the first 19 years in prison and the balance on supervised release.
Jurors convicted McMorris in December of second-degree murder in the killing at a home on Sumter Circle N. on March 24, 2016.
Prosecutors alleged that three days before that assault, the baby’s mother had received the results of a paternity test confirming that McMorris was not the biological father, and that’s when signs of abuse first surfaced.
When the mother dropped Trinity off at day care that morning, staff members noticed two burst blood vessels in the child’s eye. The next day, day care workers noted fresh bruising and scratches on her cheek. They found more signs of abuse on the baby’s back while changing her clothes March 23.
On March 24, the mother left the baby alone with McMorris instead of bringing her to day care. When responders arrived at the home, the baby was on the ground. McMorris said she had stopped breathing and began vomiting, but he provided no explanation for what caused the distress, the criminal complaint against him read.
Along with a lacerated liver and 11 broken ribs, an autopsy by the Hennepin County medical examiner found that the baby died from blunt-force injuries to her abdomen.