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Before Boudin, Lipez and Howard, Circuit Judges.

On December 21, 2001, a jury convicted Chad Evans of reckless second-degree murder, five counts of second-degree assault, endangering the welfare of a minor, and simple assault–the murder charge for the death of his girlfriend’s 21-month-old daughter Kassidy on November 9, 2000. See State v. Evans, 839 A.2d 8, 10-12 (N.H. 2003). The evidence, recounted in the just cited decision affirming the conviction, describes the underlying facts, which have some bearing on Evans’ ultimate state sentence–the subject of the present federal case.

The state’s evidence showed that Chad Evans had regularly battered and eventually killed the young child. The autopsy revealed that Kassidy had died from multiple blunt-force injuries that had caused bleeding in her brain and abdomen. The medical examiner said that in the hours before her death Kassidy had received eight to ten blows to the head and at least two blows to the abdomen from something like a fist or foot. Evans, 839 A.2d at 12. Evans lied about the death to the police, id., and at trial sought unsuccessfully to cast the blame on a babysitter. Id. at 15.

 
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