Minnesota man gets 25 years in beating death of toddler

STILLWATER, Minn. — A man who was on probation for assaulting a child in Wisconsin has been sentenced to 25 years in prison in Minnesota for the beating death of his fiancee’s toddler.

Jonathon Wierstad learned his sentence after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in Washington County District Court on Friday in the fatal assault on 16-month-old Blake Holmquist, who died last June. The 29-year-old Willernie man was not the child’s father.

Authorities say Wierstad was on probation at the time for a battery conviction in Wisconsin’s St. Croix County for causing permanent brain damage to his then-girlfriend’s 3-year-old child.

Washington County Attorney Pete Orput says: “Taking one’s anger out on someone else is never OK. Taking it out on a totally defenseless baby offends the sensibilities of us all.”