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East Indiana man gets 37 years in prison in son’s death

RICHMOND – An eastern Indiana man has been sentenced to 37 years in prison in the starvation death of his 3-month-old son.

A Wayne County jury found 25-year-old Joseph Pierson guilty but mentally ill of reckless homicide and neglect in February in the death a year earlier of Khaiden Hockett. The Palladium-Item reports Wayne County Superior Judge Gregory Horn handed down the sentence Friday after prosecutors asked for a 45-year sentence and defense attorney Michael Dean asked for a lesser sentence because of his client’s diminished capacity.

The boy’s mother, 22-year-old Amy Hockett, was sentenced in March to 60 years after being convicted of murder.

Dean says Pierson will appeal his sentence.

The boy was found unresponsive inside the couple’s Richmond home. The cause of death was dehydration due to starvation.