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Twin Falls Man Sentenced To Prison For Child's Death

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By Brittany Cooper

Twin Falls, Idaho (KMVT-TV) A Twin Falls man charged in a toddler's death learned his fate Friday. 21–year–old Lane Buddenhagen was sentenced for voluntary manslaughter charges. He pled guilty in September on the amended charge of voluntary manslaughter for the death of three-year old Rylee. Police say the toddler died from catastrophic injury to his brain.

Lane Buddenhagen sat in his seat filled with emotion. He describes Rylee as having the ability to lift spirits and spending a lot of time with him.

But on August 7, 2011, Rylee lost his life, the day after the incident took place.

As both parties agree, Buddenhagen was the only one who knew what transpired that day.

“Nobody can really tell us, the medicine isn’t all there, the expert opinion isn’t all there, only one person knows, why can’t we give Lane the benefit and say it probably happened the way you say it happened. You are still responsible for this child’s death," says Doug Nelson, Buddenhagen's attorney.

Twin Falls Prosecutor Grant Loebs read statements from doctors that treated Rylee after he was life–flighted to Boise.

And compared the cat scans of a normal brain to Rylee's.

"And he shows that the mid line has been moved from here to here as it moved off to the right," adds Loebs.

Loebs argued these injuries were not indicative of an accident.

“This 3-year old boy died from obviously a catastrophic injury to his brain. That couldn’t have been caused from a simple fall, it couldn’t have been caused by slipping and falling in the tub, by one blow in the tub, by being shoved down in the tub. It couldn’t have been caused by that or by hitting the floor. It was caused by repeated and extensive application of force," he adds.

Lane Buddenhagen says, “I just want everybody to know that I’m sorry and I’d do anything to take this back if I could.”

Judge Stoker sentenced Buddenhagen to 15 years with five years fixed, 10 intermediate.

Stoker felt Buddenhagen showed remorse. However, added that Buddenhagen had a history of anger issues.

The judge also ordered Buddenhagen to pay court costs and restitution, but that amount has yet to be determined.

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