Stepfather sentenced to 29 years in Nixzmary's death

The man convicted in the beating death of his stepdaughter, Nixzmary Brown, was sentenced Thursday to 29 years in prison.

A Brooklyn judge handed down the decision after a prosecutor said 29-year-old Cesar Rodriguez never expressed remorse for the January 2006 death. Brown, 7, was beaten, tied up and left to die naked in the family's Bedford-Stuyvesant apartment for "stealing" yogurt from the fridge.

After Rodriguez was sentenced, someone in the courtroom shouted, "I hope you die in jail." Another cried out, "murderer."

Rodriguez told the judge that he loved Nixzmary and is being accused of something he didn't do, but he added that he's not mad and will serve his sentence. Throughout Rodriguez?s trial, his lawyer blamed Nixzmary's mother, Nixzaliz Santiago. Santiago will stand trial later this year for her daughter's death.

Rodriguez avoided a longer sentence when jurors acquitted him of second-degree murder on March 18. Instead, he was found guilty of first-degree manslaughter, unlawful imprisonment, criminal possession of a weapon and endangering the welfare of a child charges.

The defense has already filed an appeal, saying Rodriguez did not receive a fair trial.

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