A Central Falls, Rhode Island, man has been convicted of second-degree murder in the beating death of his girlfriend's 6-year-old son.
Thirty-three-year-old Michael Patino was found guilty Wednesday by a Providence County Superior Court jury.
State medical examiners testified that Marco Nieves died when his intestines were ruptured by a blow to his midsection.
Patino's attorney, David A. Cooper, placed the blame for Marco's death on the child's mother, Trisha Oliver, who was not charged.
The key evidence in the case included cellphone messages sent by Patino and Oliver indicating Patino had hit the boy. The state Supreme Court ruled last summer they were admissible.
Cooper says they will file a motion for a new trial and appeal the verdict to the Supreme Court. Sentencing has not yet been scheduled.