Spartanburg man gets life sentence for killing toddler

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) -- A man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a 2-year-old boy by pushing him off a bed.

News outlets report that 27-year-old Rodney O. Samuels, of Spartanburg, was sentenced Wednesday after a jury convicted him of homicide by child abuse in the death of Christan Gentry.

Gentry's mother had left the toddler in Samuels' care while she ran errands in January 2015.

Prosecutors say the victim suffered a lacerated liver and died of blunt force trauma after Samuels pushed him off a bed.

Solicitor Barry Barnette used medical testimony to show the toddler's liver could not have been damaged without extreme pressure and that Samuels did not seem concerned about the little boy's death in a phone call he made from jail following the crime.