updated 8/13/2009 8:00:54 AM ET 2009-08-13T12:00:54

A man has been sentenced to 12 years in prison in a beating that killed an Ohio preschool boy.

Robert Overton III, 22, of Columbus, was convicted in June of felonious assault and child endangering. The jury deadlocked on a murder charge.

During Wednesday's sentencing hearing, Overton denied causing the injuries to 4-year-old Antwan Bowman, the son of his former girlfriend.

A coroner said the child died in March 2007 from a change in his heartbeat that was due to blunt force.

Prosecutors said Overton kicked and punched the boy and threw him across a room at his mother's home.

Defense attorneys suggested the boy's 13-year-old brother was responsible for the death.

More on: Ohio

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