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Denver man sentenced in murder of girlfriend's 3-year-old son in 2018

Posted at 3:43 PM, Apr 28, 2023

DENVER — A Denver man who was found guilty of murdering his girlfriend's 3-year-old son in 2018 was sentenced to life in prison this month.

John Affourtit, 38, was sentenced to mandatory life without parole on April 6, according to the Denver District Attorney's Office.

He was found guilty on March 3 of first-degree murder of a victim under 12 by a person in a position of trust, child abuse causing death and reckless endangerment.

He was convicted of killing his girlfriend's son at an apartment along the 900 block of S. Dahlia Street.

John Affourtit

On Sept. 25, 2018 paramedics responded to the apartment after receiving a report that a child was not breathing. The boy was declared dead shortly afterward.

Both Affourtit and his girlfriend agreed to speak with police that day.

During Affourtit's interview, he told police that he was currently unemployed and would watch the child while his mother was at work. A week before the child's death, the boy fell out of the bathtub, Affourtit said. The boy had a cut on each of his eyes and a "knot" on his head, according to the arrest affidavit. Investigators said this seemed suspicious, as eyelids are usually not injured in falls. The boy then became sick and lethargic, Affourtit told police. When he started to feed the child, he spit up on Affourtit, who became angry.

The girlfriend then left the home with her son and stayed at her mother's house. She returned without her son, and brought him back to the apartment later, Affourtit told authorities. Later that morning, she went to work while Affourtit stayed home with the child.

According to the arrest affidavit, around 5 a.m., Affourtit said he found the child covered in vomit. He told police he cleaned the boy up and put him back to sleep, only to find he had thrown up again later. He said he cleaned the boy up again and then he fell asleep, according to the affidavit. Affourtit claimed that he woke up around 3:30 p.m. and found that the boy had died.

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In a separate interview with the girlfriend, she said when she arrived home around 4 p.m. that day, she found the boy deceased. She said she called 911 and started CPR.

Investigators said the boy's injuries were consistent with force and were not accidental. According to the affidavit, they included:

  • Lacerations on the left and right eyelids
  • Possible lacerations under the chin
  • Trauma to his right shoulder and possibly a shoulder dislocation
  • Frenulum was torn
  • Injuries to his inner left leg, top of the right foot, left hand and right ear
  • Force trauma to his head and abdomen

A doctor with the Denver Office of the Medical Examiner said the boy also had an infection in his abdomen that was the result of an injury to his small intestine. She said this injury was fatal trauma. She said based on the information she had available, the manner of death was a homicide, according to the affidavit.
Affourtit was arrested on Sept. 26, 2018. He was then formally charged, found guilty, and then sentenced to life in prison in early April.

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