updated 1/5/2007 4:48:45 PM ET 2007-01-05T21:48:45

A man was sentenced to nine months in prison Friday for beating to death a 77-year-old man he believed had molested his 5-year-old daughter.

Robert Fontanez Jr. pleaded guilty last year to killing Bismark Vasquez. Police have said that although there was no physical evidence to support his daughter's allegations that Vasquez had fondled her, the account she gave police was consistent with what she had told her family.

In April, an infuriated Fontanez punched Vasquez so hard that Vasquez went through the back door of his home. Fontanez punched him several more times as he lay bleeding on the concrete outside, police said.

Fontanez, 27, of Elsmere, had been charged with second-degree murder but pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide.

Superior Judge Joseph Slights III sentenced Fontanez to far less than the maximum five years, telling him, “The circumstances surrounding this crime were taken into consideration by the state” and the court.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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