SANTA ANA (AP) — An Orange County man has been convicted of second-degree murder in the 2006 beating death of his 2-year-old niece.
Prosecutors say Michael Balderas killed the girl by repeatedly beating her with his hand and belt after gaining custody and becoming the child’s sole caretaker. He also was found guilty Tuesday of felony child assault causing death.
Prosecutors say Balderas was angry at the girl because of potty training problems on the day she died.
Balderas became the sole caretaker of the girl while his sister and the child’s father were preparing to serve a term in federal prison in Texas in 2005.
Balderas faces 25 years to life in prison when he’s sentenced next month.
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