Brett Blume (@brettblumekmox)

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (KMOX) – A 27-year-old Glen Carbon man was convicted Thursday afternoon in the 2013 murder of a 5-year-old boy following a three-day murder trial.

Tavon Ludy was found guilty of first-degree murder in the September 2013 death of Torian Whitaker.

Investigators believe Ludy punched the boy in the chest, causing the child to collapse and die.

It was the boy’s 5th birthday.

Ludy, the fiancee of Torian Whitaker’s mother, faces between 60 and 100 years in prison when he’s sentenced later this year.

The usual penalty range for a first-degree murder conviction is 20-60 years, but Ludy is eligible for the extended sentence due to the victim’s age.

Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons thanked his staff, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, Madison County Coroner Steve Nonn and all of the medical personnel whose work on the case contributed to the guilty verdict against Ludy.

Gibbons also noted the extreme bravery of Torian Whitaker’s brother, who’s now 10 and was just 7 at the time his brother was killed.

“Testifying in front of a courtroom filled with people, including the man who murdered your brother, is not an easy feat by any means,” Gibbons said. “The display of bravery by this young man is something that we can all admire.”

Ludy will remain in custody at the Madison County Jail in Edwardsville, where he has been held since his arrest in 2013.

Sentencing by Circuit Judge Kyle Knapp will occur following the completion of a pre-sentencing investigation, which normally takes six to eight weeks.

(TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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