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Griffin man convicted of killing baby

Howard "Joe" Holloman Jr.

Howard "Joe" Holloman Jr.

A Griffin man was convicted Thursday of beating to death the 7-month-old son of his girlfriend while he was baby-sitting the infant in 2009.

Howard "Joe" Holloman Jr., 31, was found guilty on all 18 counts related to the Aug. 25, 2009, beating death of Nathaniel Price.

The incident occurred at the family home on Twain Circle in Morrow.

Prosecutors said the baby suffered non-accidental blunt force trauma to his torso, which caused his spine to fracture and his heart to rupture.

Holloman was baby-sitting for his then-girlfriend, Eva Marie Rodney, who left home about 11:30 the night before and did not return until 1:30 p.m. the day her son died. When she got home, Rodney told police she found her son unresponsive and called 911.

The baby was taken to Southern Regional Medical Center in Riverdale where he died from massive internal injuries, including a ruptured heart and torn liver. The baby was covered in bruises and had suffered a direct blow to his mouth, according to court documents.

Clayton County Executive Assistant District Attorney Lalaine Briones said her office is pleased with the verdict. Briones prosecuted the case with Chief Assistant District Attorney Erman Tanjuatco.

Testimony in the case started Monday after a jury was seated, and ended Thursday afternoon after jurors deliberated about four hours.

Briones asked that sentencing be delayed until May 23 as a courtesy to the baby's father. Victims or their families are allowed under Georgia law to give impact statements at sentencing hearings.

Holloman faces a mandatory life sentence. He remains in the Clayton County Jail.

-- Kathy Jefcoats