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A Fayette County man faces life in prison for killing a baby in 2018.

Court records show 24-year-old Dean Hettinger of Westgate is scheduled to be sentenced in April for the death of Holton Smith, the 4-week-old nephew of his ex-girlfriend. Hettinger was convicted of first-degree murder and child endangerment in connection with Smith's death last week.

The case began on April 30, 2018, when Fayette County sheriff's officials were contacted by the Iowa Department of Human Services about an infant, who had suffered brain injures. At the time, the child was being cared for by his aunt and Hettinger.

According to information released by authorities, the baby -- later identified as Smith -- was initially taken to the Sumner Hospital the night before after his guardians reported that the child was having seizures. Smith was later transferred to University Hospitals in Iowa City, where he died about a month later.

Hettinger was taken into custody on May 16, 2018, after the child died.

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