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SD man cleared of murder going to prison anyway

WATERTOWN, S.D. (AP) -- A Watertown man cleared of charges that he killed his ex-girlfriend's toddler is going to prison on child abuse and drug charges.

Judge Robert Timm on Wednesday sentenced 26-year-old Jay Barse to serve a total of five years and pay $2,000 in fines.

Jurors last November found Barse not guilty of murder and manslaughter charges in the March death of 14-month-old Serenity Seaboy, who was treated for head trauma but later died. Serenity was the daughter of Barse's ex-girlfriend. He lived with the woman and child at the time.

Barse told police he abused the girl four days before she went to the hospital. He said in court Wednesday he was ashamed of his actions.

Timm denied Barse's request to have time already served counted as part of his sentence.

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