BARTOW — A Central Florida stepfather has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for killing his infant son two years ago.
Before the judge issued his ruling on Thursday, Ryan Clarke apologized to the relatives of 7-month-old Mark Ward, saying he would take it back if he could. The child's grandmother called Clarke a "devil" and urged the judge to give him the maximum sentence allowed, which was 40 years.
Police say Clarke was watching the baby at his mother-in-law's home on March 6, 2010. The Ledger of Lakeland reports Clarke later told police he lost control when the child was crying and banged his head against the wall four times. Doctors later determined the baby had a fractured skull and was bleeding on the brain.