Man gets life sentence for killing his 2-year-old stepdaughter

WACO, Texas (AP) A man was sentenced to life in prison for the beating death of his 2-year-old stepdaughter while her mother was serving in Iraq.

John D. Mayer Jr., 30, also was sentenced Wednesday to two terms of more than 30 years, one for each conviction on charges of sexually assaulting the girl and her sister, said assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Frazier. The sentences are to run concurrently.

Mayer, who lived at Fort Hood, pleaded guilty in February. Because the government did not pursue the death penalty, a mandatory life sentence was imposed.

Mayer had watched the girl and her two siblings since their mother was deployed in April 2003.