Ex-Fort Carson soldier sentenced 44 years for killing infant

Credit: Fountain Police Dept.

A judge sentenced an ex-Fort Carson Soldier to 44 years in prison for the "brutal" beating death of a 4-month-old girl.

11 News partner The Gazette reported the sentencing Tuesday night. On April 22, Branden Harms pleaded guilty to child abuse resulting in death.

Harms told the court he lost control when he couldn't keep the girl calm and he began to excessively spank her in April of 2016. He also choked her and threw her into her crib so hard that she split its wooden bottom and fell through to the floor.

Harms is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, who served as a scout in a Fort Carson unit at the time of the child's death. A post spokeswoman said he is no longer a soldier at Fort Carson.

Arrest papers say a the man accused of killing his girlfriend's infant daughter told police it was all an accident.

Branden Harms, 28, allegedly told officers that the baby injured herself after her cradle broke and she fell.

Harms was reportedly babysitting the infant last month when the little girl was fatally injured. When the mother came home, police say she immediately noticed her daughter needed urgent medical attention and took her to the hospital.

Doctors said the 4-month-old was 100 percent brain dead and couldn't survive her injuries.

Harms is facing charges of child abuse resulting in death.

11 News has learned Harms is a Fort Carson infantry scout, and remains on active duty.