Common Pleas Judge Michael Repella II says he struggled to accept the plea deal, but felt it was imperative to secure a conviction for the April 2019 death.

CARROLLTON, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio man has been sentenced to a minimum of six years for giving a 14-year-old boy a fatal dose of fentanyl and then burying his body in a shallow grave under a cow.

Matthew Little pleaded guilty Monday to involuntary manslaughter, gross abuse of a corpse, tampering with evidence and endangering children in the death of Jonathan Minard, the Canton Repository reported. Little was sentenced to a maximum of nine years in prison.

Little told the court Monday, “I never should have let (Minard) around drugs and my friends — he was my responsibility.”

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Common Pleas Judge Michael Repella II says he struggled to accept the plea deal, but felt it was imperative to secure a conviction for the April 2019 death.

“I can’t think of anything more cowardly than what you did after Jonathan died,” Repella said.

“You took the coward’s way out. You tried to lie and you kept lying until they caught you red-handed.”

Repella vowed that the defendant would serve a minimum of six years.

“You put my son under a cow like he was trash,” Brooke Moreland, the victim’s mother, said. “I wouldn’t even do that to my dog.”

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