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Convicted murderer wants jail term cut

N.H. persuaded panel to add years

DOVER, N.H. -- A former Rochester man convicted of repeatedly abusing and finally killing his girlfriend's young daughter is trying to get his prison sentence reduced.

Chad Evans was 29 when he was convicted of second-degree murder in December 2001 for beating 21-month-old Kassidy Bortner to death. He was also convicted on five counts of second-degree assault, one count of endangering the welfare of a child, and one count of simple assault against the girl's mother, his live-in girlfriend.

After Evans lost a Supreme Court appeal to have his conviction overturned, the state went to a new review board and asked to extend his sentence of 28 years to life.

In May, the board added 15 years to Evans's sentence, making it 43 years to life. It was the first time a murder sentence was extended under a 2001 law allowing the state to appeal sentences.

At the time, Senior Assistant Attorney General Will Delker said the original sentence was too short.

''It just seemed way out of whack with the severity of the crime and the innocence of the victim," he said.

Delker said Evans contends the sentence enhancement was inappropriate because the law allowing it was enacted after the crime. But, Delker said, the review procedure was enacted before Evans's initial sentence.

Delker said Evans will also try to get the courts to agree that the state should not be allowed to appeal a sentence to the review board, also an attempt to remove the additional 15 years from his sentence.

No date has been scheduled for hearings on the request.

Kassidy's mother, Amanda Bortner, was convicted of endangering the welfare of a child and sentenced to two years in prison. Prosecutors argued she was aware her daughter was being beaten and did nothing to stop the abuse.

On Nov. 9, 2000, Bortner drove a badly bruised and semiconscious Kassidy to her sister's apartment in Kittery, Maine, where the sister's boyfriend babysat her. The boyfriend called 911 several hours later because Kassidy was struggling to breathe and her eyes had rolled back in her head. The girl died that afternoon at York Hospital.

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