A Wood Dale man was found guilty Thursday of severely beating a 4-year-old boy with a metal-studded belt.
Frank Westmoreland faces between six and 30 years in prison for the Jan. 17 and 31 beatings of his girlfriend's 4-year-old son. Judge Blanche Hill Fawell delivered the guilty verdict.
Prosecutors Demetri Demopoulos and Anne Therieau argued Thursday that Westmoreland severely beat the boy Jan. 31 in an "alcohol-fueled rage" to "teach the boy a lesson after he pulled on a dog's ears."
During the investigation, Westmoreland was also accused of the Jan. 17 beatings when old welts and bruises were found under the new wounds.
Defense attorney Brian Jacobs argued the Jan. 17 claims were false and that his client believed he was doling out "appropriate discipline" to the child in his care during the Jan. 31 incident.
Demopoulos said police were called Jan. 31 to Westmoreland's apartment on 400 block of Jeanne Court after a neighbor in the building heard a boy pleading, "Don't hit me, I don't want to die" and the sound of a child being struck with a belt. The victim then spent more than three days hospitalized for treatment of welts, malnutrition and possible internal injuries.
"(The boy's) whole body was one large bruise," Therieau said, holding up large photos of the victim's wounds. "There is nothing a 4-year-old could have done to deserve being beaten like this. There is nothing anyone could do to deserve what happened to (the victim)."
Fawell, while reading her verdict, said the beatings fall outside the boundaries of parental discipline.
Westmoreland generally looked after both the victim and his 8-year-old sister while the children's mother worked.
Westmoreland previously was convicted of aggravated battery to a child and sentenced to eight years in prison. He also served two years for criminal trespass in an unrelated case.
A date for Westmoreland's sentencing will be set on Aug. 18.