40 years in prison for man hired to punch pregnant woman in gut


Paul Andrew Petersen will spend the next 40 years of his life in prison for having punched a six-months-pregnant woman in the gut, prompting her baby's premature birth and subsequent death -- and all for a $200 payment from the woman's boyfriend, and his roommate, Dameon Gatson.

He was sentenced on Tuesday in Hennepin County Court. More from WCCO:

Petersen told investigators that Gatson complained to him that he didn't want to have another child and that he suspected his girlfriend was cheating on him, so he offered Petersen $200 to assault her and cause a miscarriage.

Petersen then went to the St. Louis Park apartment where the woman was staying with a friend, coaxed her into the hallway and punched her two or three times in the abdomen before fleeing. The woman collapsed and began having contractions and was taken to a hospital.

Petersen pleaded guilty to murder charges. A jury sentenced Gatson to life in prison without parole last month.