FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 5, 2017
(Nashville, TN)- A Nashville man will spend the rest of his life in prison for the brutal murder of his girlfriend’s three-year-old son. Davidson County Criminal Court Judge Cheryl Blackburn sentenced Donald Lee Harris, 35, to life plus 75 years in prison on Wednesday. Harris was found guilty in June of murder, aggravated child abuse and aggravated child neglect. The three-year-old victim had been severely beaten with belts, treated with exceptional cruelty, and was especially vulnerable due to his physical and mental disabilities.
Assistant DA Pam Anderson said even while the child was dying, he was not taken to the hospital. She called Harris a dangerous offender who had no regard for human life. “This was not a one-time isolated event, this was ongoing, sustained torture. There is no more dangerous offender than one that would cause harm to a child, Anderson said.”
The boy’s mother, Shantonio Hunter, pled guilty in September to second degree murder and was sentenced to 28 years in prison.