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A former La Porte City resident, Lucas Noble Dingman, 36, has been found guilty of second-degree murder. The jurors in San Bernadino County Court convicted him in the killing of his 11-month-old infant son while he lived in Apple Valley, California. After a month-long trial, the jury found him not guilty of the more serious charge of first-degree murder. He is scheduled to be sentenced in May, A second-degree murder charge is punishable by 15 years to life in prison under California law.

On Friday. May 20, 2011, the fire department was called to the apartment of Lucas and his girlfriend, where his son Bradley was injured in a fire that started in his crib. Reports say that a neighbor had heard a smoke alarm and tried to put the fire out with a fire extinguisher.

The neighbors said that the little boy was "a little bundle of joy and full of life." The little boy was found with smoke inhalation and burned over 70% of his body. He was airlifted to a Burbank hospital where he died the following day. Investigators said the fire was intentionally set.

Dingman, then relocated and moved in with family in La Porte City, where he held a trucking job.

The case went cold for years until February 2014, when Cold Case Team detectives reopened the investigation. In May of 2015, the Waterloo Police Department arrested Dingman following an investigation by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, Dingman was 29 at the time. He was arrested on a California warrant charging him with murder and child abuse resulting in death. Dingman pleaded not guilty and denied committing the crime during an appearance at the Black Hawk County Jail while Dingman's relatives maintained his innocence.

He was extradited back to California in 2015, and remained at the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga, with bail set at $1 million.


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