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New Jersey man gets life in prison for throwing baby into river

(Reuters) - A New Jersey man was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday for throwing his infant daughter off a bridge on the Garden State Parkway into a river below, authorities said.

Shamsiddin Abdur-Raheem was found guilty in September of kidnapping and murder in the death of 3-month-old Zara, who he threw into the Raritan River in February 2010, according to a statement from the Office of State Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa.

Her body was found on a riverbank two months later.

Middlesex County Superior Court Judge Bradley Ferencz sentenced Abdur-Raheem, 24, to life in state prison plus 30 years, meaning he must serve 89 years in prison without possibility of parole, Chiesa's office said.

Abdur-Raheem, of Galloway Township, New Jersey, also was found guilty of assault for attacking the baby's maternal grandmother and hitting her with his minivan when he abducted the baby from the grandmother's apartment in East Orange, New Jersey, the office said.

Prosecutors said the baby fell from the Driscoll Bridge in Woodbridge Township about 140 feet into the Raritan River on February 16, 2010. The baby's father pushed or threw her from the front passenger window of his minivan, which was parked on the shoulder of the parkway, they said.

The child's mother had custody and had obtained a restraining order against Abdur-Raheem the same day the baby was killed, prosecutors said.

(Writing by Ellen Wulfhorst; Editing by Eric Walsh)

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