Guilty plea in Pa. child's drain cleaner death

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Associated Press

Posted on January 9, 2013 at 11:33 AM

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Philadelphia man has been sentenced to 17 1/2 to 35 years in prison for killing a toddler he was babysitting by rubbing drain cleaner on him.

Thirty-six-year-old Aaron Pace pleaded guilty Wednesday to third-degree murder in the February 2010 death of 20-month-old Suliaman Kirkland.

Prosecutors say Pace sprinkled Drano crystals on a washcloth and rubbed it onto the child's skin because the boy was "fussing in the tub."

The toddler suffered severe burns and died in a hospital five days later.

Pace said he understood what he was doing by pleading guilty, though defense attorney Fred Goodman said his client's IQ was between 57 and 68.

Members of Pace's family were ejected from the courtroom for swearing and threatening the Kirkland family.

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