Sacto 9-1-1
October 26, 2012
Man who murdered toddler son sentenced to 25 years to life

A man who murdered his 22-month old son for giving him dirty looks was sentenced today to 25 years to life in state prison.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Steve White told Paul Gappo Harper, 31, that "the underlying psychological dimensions" of the case "are significant." But White said the murder of the defendant's son, Paul Harper Jr., "was one of the most heinous and cruel and ongoing that the court has seen."

White imposed the 25-to-life term on Harper for his no contest plea to killing his son in the course of abusing him. Harper also had pleaded no contest to second-degree murder, but the judge stayed 15-to-life term for the same facts in the same case.

Harper's wife, Theresa, 27, also pleaded no contest to second-degree murder for failing to protect her son. She was sentenced in July to a 15-years-to-life term.

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