Cuyahoga County

Cleveland father sentenced to life in prison for killing his 3-year-old son

CLEVELAND, Ohio – A Cleveland man was sentenced to life in prison Monday for beating his 3-year-old son to death in December.

The boy's mother, meanwhile, was sentenced to probation for five years and ordered to perform 50 hours of community service.

Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Michael Astrab doled out the punishments in the death of Bryson Marshall. The boy had been attacked Dec. 27 at the couple's home on Project Avenue.

The boy's father, William Sheppard, 26, pleaded guilty to murder, felonious assault and child endangering Aug. 15. Three days later, the child's mother, Bergundi Marshall, 26, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter.

Astrab said he wanted to sentence Sheppard "to a heck of a lot more,'' but he was limited because the maximum under state law for the charge of murder is life in prison with a chance of parole after 15 years.

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