EASTON, Pa. (AP) — An eastern Pennsylvania jury has found a New York man guilty of first-degree murder in the death of the toddler son of his former girlfriend two years ago.

Jurors in Northampton County deliberated for about four hours Monday before convicting 24-year-old Eugenio Torres of Brooklyn, N.Y. in the July 2008 death of 3-year-old Elijah Strickland. Prosecutors said Torres beat and tortured Strickland to death at the home he shared with the boy and his mother in Wilson.

Authorities said Strickland had burns, a skull fracture and internal bleeding when he died on July 7, 2008. The defense said Torres dropped the boy while pulling him from a bathtub, and the child sustained other injuries while Torres attempted CPR.

The jury must now decide whether Torres should be executed by lethal injection or serve life in prison without possibility of parole.

(Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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