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Kalamazoo – A man has been sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole for the beating death of his girlfriend’s 4-year-old daughter, who was found wrapped in blankets and duct tape in southwestern Michigan.

A judge handed down the mandatory punishment Monday for 35-year-old Matthew Longenecker. He was convicted earlier by a jury of charges including murder and child abuse in the asphyxiation death of Desaray Thompson in Kalamazoo.

The Kalamazoo Gazette reports Longenecker declined to speak at Monday’s hearing.

Last month, his 34-year-old girlfriend Kelly Ballinger was ordered to serve between 23 years, nine months and 50 years. Jurors convicted Ballinger of child abuse and involuntary manslaughter.

Authorities say the couple restrained Desaray with blankets and duct tape in July 2017. An autopsy found evidence of past abuse.

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