St. Joseph man pleads guilty in son's death

Associated Press - February 2, 2010 8:04 AM ET

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) - A St. Joseph man has pleaded guilty in the death of his 7-week-old son.

Ronny Rathman entered the plea Monday in Buchanan County Circuit Court to second-degree murder. He admitted he killed his son, Donald, on Oct. 8, 2009.

Donald's mother, Angela Rathman, was sentenced to five years in prison last month for also abusing the boy.

The St. Joseph News-Press reports that Rathman told the court that he hit the boy twice to stop him from crying and the boy fell out of his arms, hit a chair and fell onto a table.

County Prosecutor Dwight Scroggins said Donald had extensive bruising, two black eyes, a fractured skull and hemorrhaging in his brain.

Rathman will be sentenced March 15.

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