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Kelsey Cooke, St George News /Cedar City News

Man receives maximum sentence for murder of 2-year-old boy

By Kelsey Cooke, St. George News | Posted - Mar. 26, 2020 at 9:44 a.m.

CEDAR CITY — Gavin Michael Haar received the maximum sentence Wednesday in the Cedar City 5th District Court for second-degree felony child abuse and the first-degree felony murder of 2-year-old Christopher Leader Jr.

Haar was found guilty of both counts by a jury after standing trial in February.

During Wednesday’s sentencing hearing, Judge Keith Barnes heard from several of Christopher’s family members on the impact of his death.

Joshua Bell, Christopher’s grandfather, told the court he will not get the chance to meet his grandson.

“Christopher’s murder has all but torn our family apart,” Bell said. “Because of this, I have a grandson who I never get to meet in person. … My wife and I have been denied the opportunity to show him our love and affection in a tangible way.”

Bell’s wife and Christopher’s grandmother, Kristen, also addressed the court.

“The pain that this has caused my family is unreal — as well as the Leader family. I know they suffer as much as we do,” she said. “I will never get to hold Christopher; I will never get to tell him I love him ever again.”

Read the full article at St. George News.

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