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Tampa man gets prison, probation for killing girlfriend's 2-year-old daughter

TAMPA — A Hillsborough County judge sentenced a man to 20 years in prison and 20 years of probation Wednesday for murdering his girlfriend's 2-year-old daughter.

Kenneth G. Lopez, 23, negotiated a deal to plead guilty to aggravated child abuse and second-degree murder and was sentenced immediately, a spokesman for the Hillsborough State Attorney's Office said.

Lopez made no statement during the hearing Wednesday.

Deputies had rushed on March 8, 2009, to the Homestead Studio Suites Hotel at 5401 E Beaumont Center Blvd. when they received a report of a child not breathing.

His girlfriend, Danielle McCleary, 24, told a judge in December that Lopez tied 2-year-old Gabrielle Randel's hands behind her back and wrapped her in blankets. Then he placed her on the floor, put a karate pad on top of her and pummeled her until she stopped crying.

McCleary said she called 911 when she noticed the girl wasn't breathing.

She pleaded guilty to child neglect and faces up to 15 years in prison. Her sentencing is set for Oct. 11.

The couple had recently moved to Tampa from Illinois when Gabrielle was killed.

Both Lopez and McCleary have been ordered to not have unsupervised contact with children, and McCleary's son has been removed from her custody.

Tampa man gets prison, probation for killing girlfriend's 2-year-old daughter 08/24/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 24, 2011 11:52pm]
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