Suburban Chicago man sentenced in 9-month-old’s 2008 death

JOLIET, Ill. (AP) — A suburban Chicago man convicted of beating to death his girlfriend’s 9-month-old son has been sentenced to 34 years in prison.

Santos Loza of Plainfield was sentenced Friday by Will County Circuit Judge Sarah Jones, who in April found Loza guilty in the 2008 murder of Kevion Bender.

Loza was charged in 2010 and convicted in September 2013 in the boy’s death. However Jones, who presided over that trial, later determined she’d erred in limiting Loza’s attorneys’ cross-examination of the infant’s mother and granted him a new trial.

In a written victim impact statement read last week by Assistant State’s Attorney Chris Koch, Sandra Sitko said her world was turned upside down by her son’s death.

The 34-year-old Loza must serve his entire sentence, but will receive credit for the five years spent in the Will County jail.