🔴 A NJ man gets life in prison for the beating death of a 3-year-old boy

🔴 After passing on an earlier plea deal, he was convicted by a jury of aggravated murder

🔴 The boy’s mom, who pleaded guilty to child endangerment, also gets prison

A man found guilty of beating a toddler to death in a Morris County hotel has been ordered to spend the rest of his life in prison — while the child’s mother was sentenced to a total of 18 years.

On Thursday, 29-year-old Edwin Urbina, formerly of Morristown, was denied the possibility of parole under the sentence handed down in Morris County Superior Court.

A 3-year-old boy, id'ed by family as Liam Christian, was beaten to death at a hotel in 2021 (GoFundMe via Demi Shelton)
A 3-year-old boy, id'ed by family as Liam Christian, was beaten to death at a hotel in 2021 (GoFundMe via Demi Shelton)

Krystal Straw, also 29, previously pleaded guilty to putting her children in harm's way and lying to police about the horrific events on Aug. 13, 2021.

The sentence she received separately on Thursday was consecutive terms - with five years of parole ineligibility, according to Morris County Prosecutor Robert Carroll.

The child's 2021 beating death happened at an East Hanover hotel (Google Maps)
The child's 2021 beating death happened at an East Hanover hotel (Google Maps)

Prosecutor says ‘justice’ for three-year-old Liam

Just over two weeks ago, Urbina was convicted by a jury of aggravated murder, an upgraded charge due to the boy being just 3 years of age.

Jurors found that Urbina had beaten the young child in a room at the OYO Hotel in East Hanover, where the couple, the toddler and a then 5-year-old sibling had been living.

When Straw left work early and came back to the grim scene, she worked to hide Urbina’s involvement before eventually taking her son for medical help.

“These sentencings bring to a close this terrible and tragic crime. Justice has finally been done for little 3 year old Liam,” Carroll said in a written release on Thursday.

Erin Vogt is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at erin.vogt@townsquaremedia.com

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