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Man gets 25 years in toddler's beating death

Man gets 25 years in toddler's beating death
The map shows homicides reported in Azusa since 2007. (Times Homicide Report)

A 24-year-old man was sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison for killing his girlfriend's 16-month-old son.

Stephen Douglas Hoffman struck the toddler in the head up to 21 times while he was babysitting at an Azusa home, according to prosecutors.

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Hoffman was watching Malaikye Payne in August 2011 while the child's mother was at work on an overnight shift.

Around 3:30 a.m., Hoffman texted the mother a photo of Malaikye, which showed a bruise beginning to develop on the child's face.

"Hoffman told her that the child fell off the bed and onto a toy," the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said in a statement.

The mother returned home and went to sleep around 6 a.m. Three hours later, Hoffman alerted her that Malaikye was having breathing problems.

The mother called 911, and the child was taken to a hospital. He was brain dead on arrival.

Since 2007, at least 11 homicides have been reported in Azusa, according to The Times' Homicide Report database.

Twitter: @LAJourno

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