4
| Crime |

Toddler killer gets just sixteen years in plea deal

^
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Plea bargains are a necessary evil given how overtaxed our judicial system is these days. But it's still frustrating when someone who seems to deserve a long, long sentence gets a lighter one simply because he made a deal saving the state the time and expense of putting him on trial.

That appears to be the case with Steven Burnley, 22, who initially denied striking his girlfriend's toddler in early 2008 -- but changed his story after an autopsy on the child, which showed evidence of a hand-shaped bruise on her face.

Burnley's punishment? Sixteen years, the maximum jolt available under an arrangement worked out with prosecutors -- but still a relative bargain considering the repercussions of his actions. Read the Denver District Attorney's Office release below:

MAN SENTENCED IN TODDLER'S DEATH

A man who pleaded guilty earlier to causing the death of a 22-month old girl who was in his care has been given the maximum sentence possible under the guilty plea agreement.

Steven Burnley (dob: 08-06-87) pleaded guilty last October to child abuse negligently causing death, a class 3 felony, and was sentenced to 16 years in prison.

On October 13, 2007, he was caring for 22-month-old Taylor Bach, the daughter of his girlfriend, when he caused a fatal head injury.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.