Kiln man sentenced to 40 years for depraved heart murder

District Attorney Joel Smith announced today that 27-year old Charles Connetti, III of Kiln, MS was sentenced by Judge Larry Bourgeois in Gulfport to forty years, fifteen years suspended, with twenty five years to serve day-for-day for the second degree murder of a 15-month old child. The charges were amended to second degree murder at the request of the victim’s family. Connetti was the child’s mother’s boyfriend at the time of the incident.

During the hearing, Circuit Court Judge Larry Bourgeois heard comments from the defendant, grandmother, and mother and considered a presentence investigation by the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Connetti told the Court, “I want to apologize to the mother and her family. I understand they are upset. That day, I did the stupidest thing in my life. If I had not done this, he wouldn’t have passed away. I think about him all of the time, and I take responsibility for what I have done that caused her to lose her son. I am really sorry – I really am. I accept responsibility for what I have done, and I accept my punishment.”

The grandmother of the victim spoke and thanked the Sheriff’s Office, D.A.’s staff, and medical professionals that tried to save her grandson’s life. The child’s mother addressed the Court and stated, “[E]very time I want to see my baby, I have to go to his grave, and it feels like I am dying inside.”

Prior to imposing the day-for-day sentence, Judge Larry Bourgeois stated he considered the family’s wishes, “[A] fifteen month old child lost his life. He had not even started living yet. I can’t bring him back, I wish I could, but no one can do it. Children are the lifeblood of any community – our most precious asset. A child looks to his mother and father figures for every need – love, food and shelter. You stand here convicted of murder of a child. You are about to lose your freedom. ” The case was prosecuted by ADA Chris Daniel.

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