MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - A man previously convicted for child abuse was convicted of murder for the beating death of a toddler in 2008.
35-year-old Gary Hawkins was found guilty of first degree murder in perpetration of aggravated child neglect and aggravated child abuse for the September 2008 death of 18-month-old Shamia Ivory.
The child's mother said her daughter had been sick and she had Hawkins watch her at her home while she ran to the store. When she returned, she called 911 because her daughter was continuously vomiting and was unresponsive. Shamia Ivory was taken to Le Bonheur Children's Hospital by ambulance where she died the following day.
The Shelby County Medical Examiner determined that Ivory had died from blunt force trauma, and had suffered severe internal injuries and extensive internal bleeding.
Gary Hawkins was automatically sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murder conviction. He faces up to 60 more years for aggravated child neglect at an additional sentencing hearing at a later date.
Hawkins had been convicted of child abuse and neglect in 1997 after breaking the leg of a child he was babysitting.