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Michigan man who beat Indiana boy to death convicted of murder, other counts

A jury has convicted a Michigan man of murder and other charges in the beating death of a 3-year-old boy in Lafayette.

Jermaine Garnes of West Bloomfield, Michigan, was convicted of murder, neglect resulting in death, aggravated battery resulting in death and battery on a person under 14 resulting in death. The jury returned the verdicts Wednesday.

Garnes and his girlfriend, Crystal Lynn Cox, were both charged in August 2021 in connection with the death of 3-year-old Zeus Cox. The little boy was found dead on a bedroom floor with bruises on his chest, stomach and other areas of his body.

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The couple gave police conflicting accounts. Cox said he had fallen on concrete and later ran into a table. Garnes told police Zeus had fallen off his bike.

Witnesses told police Garnes struck the 3-year-old with his fist.

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An autopsy revealed the 3-year-old died from multiple blunt force trauma injuries to his abdomen that ruptured the boy’s intestines and caused rib fractures and internal bleeding.

Cox was found guilty of murder, neglect resulting in death, aggravated battery resulting in death, and battery on a person under 14 resulting in death last May and was sentenced to 53 years in prison.

Garnes’ sentencing has not yet been scheduled.

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