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A Fortuna man has been sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty in December to an amended charge in connection with the killing of his 1-year-old son in May 2017.

Matthew Hamm, 37, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and abandonment of a corpse during a hearing before Moniteau County Judge Matthew Hamner.

Hamm had been charged with first-degree murder.

Authorities found burned skeletal remains inside Hamm's home and in a burn pit on the property after the child's mother reported she suspected Hamm of killing their son, according to the probable cause statement in the case.

Hamm initially told authorities the boy had choked and died. He later said he had struck the child with a mug after the boy spilled a bowl of water. Hamm said he was aggravated a family member hadn't shown up to get the baby.

Authorities later recovered the child's remains and determined the death to be a homicide and that Hamm had burned the body.

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