Multiple media outlets are reporting 29-year-old Lee Ponshe was sentenced in Will County Court after a jury found him guilty in December of first degree murder for killing 18-month-old Halli Burton. She was the daughter of Jessi Dunlap, who was engaged to Ponshe and moved to the Chicago area with him just days before the child’s death.
The state’s attorney’s office says Ponshe began beating Burton in the early morning hours of April 15th, 2009 because she was crying and would not sleep. They say she died as a result of her injuries the next day after being put down for a nap by Ponshe.
Prosecutors presented evidence and testimony at the trial that included statements Ponshe made to detectives and to his father in which he admitted striking the girl. A forensic pathologist testified that Burton’s injuries were consistent with having been abused.