St. Paul man pleads guilty in death of girlfriend’s son

Published 6:28 pm Friday, May 10, 2019

ST. PAUL — A St. Paul man pleaded guilty Wednesday to unintentionally killing his girlfriend’s 3-year-old son and causing life-threatening injuries to her 2-year-old daughter while punishing the children in January.

Twenty-five-year-old Alontae Butts entered Alford pleas to second-degree murder and malicious punishment of a child Wednesday. That means he doesn’t admit guilt but acknowledges there’s likely enough evidence to convict him. The court treats it as a guilty plea.

Butts had been watching the boy and his 2- and 6-year-old siblings. Prosecutors say the 6-year-old told authorities Butts hit and choked him and his siblings when they were too loud or crying. Butts initially said he tripped and fell on them when wrestling with the children.

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He’s to be sentenced in mid-June. A deal with prosecutors calls for 15 years in prison.