GERING, Nebraska — A Nebraska man was sentenced Friday to 80 years to life in prison for fatally beating his girlfriend's 2-year-old daughter.
Dustin Chauncey was sentenced in Scotts Bluff County District Court for the July 2008 slaying of Juliette Geurts. He'd been found guilty of child abuse resulting in the girl's death. Two other charges against Chauncey were dismissed because of the statute of limitations.
Prosecutor Jim Zimmerman asked for justice during his remarks before Judge Leo Dobrovolny handed down the sentence.
"Justice is getting what you deserve," Zimmerman said. "In this case, what this defendant deserves is life."
Chauncey and Juliette's mother, Charyse Geurts, were living together when the girl was found dead in her crib. Autopsy results revealed she died from internal organ damage caused by blunt force trauma. Zimmerman said she'd been "kicked in the belly so hard that her liver exploded."
Juliette's mother, Charyse Geurts, twice refused to testify at Chauncey's trial and was found in contempt of court after she claimed her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. She refused to testify even after the judge granted a prosecution motion to give her immunity.
Charyse Geurts was charged in January 2013 with false reporting and being an accessory, but those charges were dismissed three months later because the statute of limitations had run out.
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