Mills County, IA - A Pacific Junction man who pleaded guilty to second degree murder of his girlfriend's 13-month old daughter took the stand Monday to learn his sentence.
A judge sentenced 23-year old Colby Puckett to 50 years in prison, he'll serve 35 years before he is eligible for parole. Puckett must pay $160,000 in restitution and submit a DNA sample to be kept on file.
Puckett is also ordered to have no contact with the victims mother, Hannah May. Puckett has sent letters to May while in jail. In court, May asked for those letters to stop.
February 1, Puckett was watching 13-month old Aliyanna May and her two siblings while Aliyanna's mother was at school.
Puckett sent May a text stating Aliyanna stopped breathing and was taken to the hospital.
The next day, Aliyanna died as a result head trauma. The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigations said the girl suffered injuries to her eyes and head.
"Now that I look back he didn't sit by me, he didn't hold me, his face was pale.'' In front of a judge, May recounts the days she and Puckett spent in the hospital. "I can't get that image out of my head. I had to clean up blood from my 13-month old's face and I had to see them do multiple tests to her and her have no gag reflex and her eyes halfway open," said May.
Puckett originally pleaded not guilty to the murder. After discussions between the victim's family and Puckett, he entered a plea deal.
"He intended to assault her and it resulted in her death and that was easy to prove," said Mills county attorney, Eric Hansen. "It's a tough case dealing with a 13-month old that had a significant amount of trauma that Colby caused.''
Puckett will first go to the Iowa Medical and Classification center in Oakdale Iowa. Then,he'll be placed at a prison where he will serve he will serve mandatory time at least through 2049.