Mom, boyfriend sentenced to decades in prison in death of 5-year-old

The mother of a 5-year-old Philadelphia boy and her boyfriend have both been sentenced to 25 to 50 years in prison in what authorities called the boy’s beating death.

The Philadelphia Daily News reports that 26-year-old Christian Patrick and 25-year-old Lashay Patterson each pleaded guilty to third-degree murder, conspiracy and possession of an instrument of crime in the 2012 death of Patterson’s 5-year-old son, Dashawn Harris.


Prosecutors said the boy was punched repeatedly, beaten with a belt and burned with a hair dryer after he had difficulty sounding out the word “sad.”

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

Patterson declined to address the court Monday. Patrick apologized to Dashawn’s relatives, saying he knew he had done wrong. He said, “I did have love for Dashawn. I just went about it the wrong way.”

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal