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First Responders Still Haunted By Death Of Toddler With Drain Cleaner

(Aaron Pace.  Phila. PD photo)

(Aaron Pace. Phila. PD photo)

Hanson_Tony--NEW Tony Hanson
Tony Hanson has spent his entire illustrious career at KYW Newsradio,...
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By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A Philadelphia man was sentenced to up to 35 years in prison for burning a toddler with drain cleaner when the boy fussed while getting his bath.

The victim’s family testified on the impact of the loss at the hands of the 36-year-old neighbor and family friend, but the judge also heard from first responders who are still affected.

A police officer and paramedic, both mothers themselves, responded to the scene and fought to maintain control in court, testifying through tears as they remembered the adorable little boy shaking, crying and suffering.

“[They] really, truly have held on to how awful this episode was. They saw him, remember, they saw him when he was at his worst, having just suffered these chemical burns, terrible burns all over his face, his head, his body. And both of them cried throughout the proceeding,” said prosecutor Christine Wechsler.

Veteran paramedic Colleen Stankiewicz testified saying it was the most horrible thing she has ever seen. At one point she turned and told the defendant, ” it was awful what you did,” then added she can’t imagine anyone doing that to a baby.