Dad of murdered 11-month-old sentenced to 2.5 years

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A judge sentenced the father of a murdered 11-month-old northern Indiana girl to 2½ years in prison Friday.

Kenneth Lain of Grovertown pleaded guilty last month to neglect of a dependent under a plea agreement.

Police found the body of 11-month-old Mercedes Lain in a wooded area near the Marshall-Starke County line last August.

A family friend, Justin Miller, was sentenced last month to 65 years in prison for killing the girl.

Miller admitted to using used synthetic marijuana several times the day Lain and the child’s mother, Tiffany Coburn, gave the child to Miller to babysit so they could take a break from the child.

According to court documents, Miller, 37, told police he woke up on Aug. 14 in the St. Joseph County city of Mishawaka and found the child dead. He led investigators on Aug. 18 to a wooded area in Starke County where he had allegedly buried the girl’s body.

An autopsy report found that Mercedes Lain’s death was a homicide and the manner of death to be blunt force trauma to the head.

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