Wheaton man sentenced for killing toddler with baseball bat in church
A man who accidentally killed a toddler with a baseball bat while attacking her stepfather in a western Minnesota church has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.
David E. Collins, 51, of Wheaton, was sentenced Thursday by Traverse County District Judge Gerald Seibel in the death of Aundrea Brownlow, 14 months, as he went after Claude Hankins, in September inside Thy Kingdom Come church.
Collins and Hankins were in a dispute over $20 and a used washer and dryer.
The Rev. Danny Barnes of the Thy Kingdom Come said Saturday he gave the appliances to Hankins, and that angered Collins.
Collins was convicted in a bench trial before Seibel of unintentional second-degree murder and second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon.
With time served and credit for good behavior in prison, Collins could end up serving as little as 12 1/2 years.
Soon after the killing, Collins' wife said her husband didn't see Aundrea before crushing her skull.
The church's mission includes serving people with drug and alcohol addictions.