LEBANON, Ohio -- A judge sentenced a Franklin man to seven years in prison Tuesday for his son's scalding death.
Robert Ritchie, 32, asked for mercy, telling the judge he wanted to become a pastor so he could share his faith. He faced a possible sentence of up to 11 years.
Sheri Gredig, the victim's maternal grandmother, told Ritchie: "You're destined for hell and the devil himself."
Defense attorney Frank Schiavone IV called Ritchie a "gentle giant" living with despair and hopelessness.
"This isn’t a man the court would typically see," he said.
After three trials, Ritchie was convicted Aug. 25 of child endangering and involuntary manslaughter in the death of 4-year-old Austin Cooper.
Police say Ritchie didn't check on his young son after the boy's stepmother, Anna Ritchie, severely burned him in a bathtub. Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell said Anna Ritchie placed Cooper's legs in scalding water -- about 134 degrees -- for 20 to 25 minutes.
She pleaded guilty to murder, and a judge sentenced her to between 18 years and life in prison.