Man Sentenced to Life for Killing 2-Year-Old Boy

Published on December 19, 2016

John White

GREELEY, Colo. (Weld County D.A.) - A Greeley man has been sentenced to life in prison for abusing and killing his girlfriend's 2-year-old son in May 2015.

A Weld County jury convicted John Melvin White, 34, last month of first-degree murder and child abuse resulting in death after an 11-day trial. Today, Judge Julie Hoskins sentenced White to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He also received the maximum sentence of 24 years on the child abuse count, which will run concurrent to the murder charge.

The victim, Michael “Mikey” Lara, died after suffering severe injuries, including bruises to his head and back, burns to his face and neck caused by a hair dryer and an injury to his penis. White, who was dating Mikey's mother at the time, was babysitting the boy while his mom was at work. He claimed the family's Pitbull knocked the boy down the mobile home's porch steps.

But medical examinations pointed to severe trauma that could not be associated with a fall. Toxicology reports also showed White was high on methamphetamine while babysitting Mikey.

“I would like to tell you about the day I taught Mikey to drive…or the day he graduated…or the day he made me a grandparent,” said Michael Lara Sr., Mikey's father. “But you took all of those moments away from me, John. You took him away from our family...You will now sit in your cell with only your nightmares.”

During Friday's sentencing, Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wrenn said, “This kind of case changes you. I met Mikey when he laid on a cold, metal gurney, and it changed me…Every murder is a tragedy, but the murder of a child is an attack on the community as a whole.”

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