CROWN POINT | David Golub avoided a murder charge Monday but still received 40 years in prison after he took responsibility for the death of a Griffith toddler in his care.
Pleading guilty to a Class A level of felony battery, the 25-year-old Highland man agreed to the sentence in a plea deal he struck with prosecutors earlier this month.
"You murdered a baby," the child's grandfather told Golub during emotion-filled testimony before Lake Criminal Court Judge Salvador Vasquez. "You got a long time to think about what you did."
Police arrived Feb. 15, 2011, at a residence in the 1000 block of East 35th Avenue in Griffith to find 20-month-old Derek Hansen lying naked on the living room floor gasping for breath, court documents state.
Golub had been caring for the child and his 8-month-old brother while their mother, Golub's girlfriend, was at work, documents show.
In pleading guilty to his role in the boy's death, Golub admitted to becoming frustrated and angry at the child's crying.
Golub admitted to shaking the child and slamming the boy's head into the floor multiple times.
A neighbor saw Golub carrying the boy and screaming in the parking lot at the time of the incident. Golub reportedly met the child's mother in the parking lot and told her the child had fallen. When the neighbor heard the boy wasn't breathing, she called 911, documents show.
The child died of his injuries two days later at Comer Children's Hospital at the University of Chicago.