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Baltimore man sentenced to life in prison, plus 40 years for murder of 18-month-old

Francois Brown was sentenced Thursday to life in prison, plus an additional 40 years, for beating his girlfriend’s 18-month-old baby to death last year, the Baltimore State’s Attorney Office said.

Brown, a Woodbourne Heights resident, was walking his girlfriend’s baby, Zaray Gray, back from the playground when he took the boy behind an apartment building and fatally beat him. Within hours, the baby was unconscious and never woke up. A jury found Brown guilty at the end of August.

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“To be honest, this is closure in regards to legal action. But it would never be closure emotionally, spiritually, physically,” Whitney West, Zaray’s mother said outside of the courthouse Thursday. "At one point I was able to dream and play with Zaray in my dreams, but now I have weird sleep patterns and I don’t dream, it seems like.

“There’s moments where I can be super happy and moments where I just don’t wanted to be bothered with the world and I just sit at home and cry," she continued.

This is not the first time Brown has been sentenced for a child’s death. He served nearly three years in prison for the death of his own son in late 2012. At 7 months old, Kendall Brown was hospitalized with rib fractures and bleeding in his brain.

Two years later, Brown allegedly hurt another child, this time the daughter of his girlfriend at the time. Prosecutors said that Brown bruised the little girl’s ribs and broke her leg although she survived. Brown has not been charged in the case.

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