Indiana high court affirms man’s sentence in toddler’s death


ANDERSON, Ind. — Indiana’s high court has affirmed a man’s sentence of life without parole for the 2018 killing of his girlfriend’s 18-month-old son.

A Madison County jury convicted Dylan Tate, 29, in 2019 on charges of murder, child molesting, neglect of a dependent resulting in death and other charges for Harlan Haines’ death.

In appealing his life sentence, Tate argued that the trial court erred by admitting certain testimony and that there was not enough trial evidence to support the torture and child molesting aggravators of his sentence.

But the high court, which reviewed two issues Tate had raised, ruled against him in affirming his sentence, The Herald Bulletin reported.

“We find sufficient evidence supporting these two aggravators and reject Tate’s invitation to reweigh the evidence,” the court’s opinion reads.

The court also found that the state proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Tate had killed Haines.

The child died in February 2018, two days after Tate brought him to an Anderson hospital, where doctors revived him after finding that he was not breathing and his heart had stopped.

Doctors noted signs of severe physical abuse on his body, according to court records. Neither Tate nor the boy’s mother, Jennifer Harris, could explain the injuries to police, officers said.

Harris, was sentenced to 40 years in prison for neglect of a dependent resulting in death. Her sentence was affirmed in February by the Indiana Court of Appeals.

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