Minn. man sentenced to life for stepson’s death

Published 8:57 am Friday, November 26, 2010

HASTINGS — Dakota County jurors have found a man guilty of murder in the death of his young stepson.

The jury returned its verdicts Thursday against 24-year-old Tylar James Hokanson, Judge Robert King then sentenced the former Northfield man to life in prison.

The county attorney’s office says the jury began deliberations Monday and spent about 31 hours deliberating since getting the case Monday. On Thanksgiving they found him guilty of two counts of first-degree murder while committing child abuse and two counts of second-degree murder, but acquitted him on two other counts.

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Prosecutors say Hokanson shook his 17-month old stepson, Nicholas Miller, causing bleeding in his brain, a broken back, blunt force trauma and other injuries, then refused to get him medical treatment. The boy died four days later at a relative’s house in Pierce County, Wis.