CRIME
10/12/2012 03:32 pm ET | Updated Oct 15, 2012

Benjamin Edetanlen Sentenced To 18 Years, Defends Killing Son With Bible Passage

Clearly, he missed the "Thou shall not kill" part.

A Georgia father, sentenced Wednesday to 18 years for murdering his 5-month-old son, used a biblical verse to defend the fatal beating, the WSB-TV reports.

Benjamin Edetanlen said he was acting on the old adage, “Spare the rod, spoil the child."

Assistant District Attorney Dalia Racine argued that Edetanlen used similar force on his other children, a 2-year-old daughter and a 1-year-old son.

"The defendant stated that he disciplined the children according to the book of Proverbs in the bible," Racine said, according to Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Though his son died from blunt force trauma, suffering brain injuries and a broken leg, Edentanlen's attorney maintained the defendant's faith in the passage.

“Mr. Edetanlen firmly believed in the adage, you know, spare the rod and spoil the child,” defense attorney Ingrid McGaughey said.

Edetanlen initially faced a murder charge, but instead pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and child cruelty.

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