James E. Hammond was convicted of causing the death of 7-month-old Aubri Thompson

A 48-year-old Harrington man will spend at least 15 years in prison for the death of a 7-month old girl who died while under his care.

James E. Hammond was sentenced to 25 years in jail, which would be suspended after serving 15 years, Department of Justice spokeswoman Nicole Magnusson said Friday.

Once released, Hammond also will serve six months on work release followed by two years of probation.

Hammond was found guilty of second-degree murder by abuse in a November 2017 trial.

The case began Feb. 25, 2014, when the parents of Aubri Thompson brought the infant to Hammond’s home, where he and his girlfriend were to care for her while they went on vacation.

Three days later the child was taken to Bayhealth Milford Memorial Hospital suffering from blunt force trauma to the head and traumatic brain injuries. She died about one hour after arriving at the hospital.

An autopsy ruled the death a homicide by blunt force trauma.

Hammond unsuccessfully claimed the girl had been injured when she fell from a crib. He initially fled from law enforcement, but surrendered in April2014.