A Kearns man has been sentenced to one to 15 years in prison for the beating death of his 2-year-old second cousin.
Eugene Antone Fontecchio, 41, who admitted to the November 1987 killing of Andrew Stout in May, was sentenced Monday by 3rd District Judge John K. Rokich.Rokich ordered the time be served consecutively with a one to five year term Fontecchio received earlier in the day for a forgery conviction. He also recommended the maximum term of 15 years be sustained without parole.
"You can't restore life once it's been taken," said Rokich. "I feel strongly about life and about children, and I sympathize with the (tout) family, but I thank God we have a legal system where in the vast majority of cases justice is administered."
According to prosecuting attorneys, the Stout family had filed impact statements with the court calling for harsher penalties than the law allows on a charge of second degree homicide.
The attorneys for the defense and prosecution reached agreement on sentence recommendation prior to the hearing. Their judgment was based upon medical examiner's findings.
"It was not a sustained beating, just a momentary loss of control," said defense attorney Karen Stam. "
At the time of the murder, Fontecchio was living at the home of Andrew's mother, Jody Stout, and was babysitting for Andrew and his 7-year-old brother, Blaine.
Fontecchio called a neighbor for assistance when the toddler became unconscious, originally claiming Andrew had fallen out of bed. The boy died of massive cerebral hemorrhage the following day.
At Monday's hearing, Fontecchio expressed remorse for his actions.
"I wish I could go back and undo what has been done," he said in a strained voice. "But I know I can't bring him back."
The court also ordered that Fontecchio make restitution to Jody Stout for medical and funeral expenses upon his release from prison.