Tiny skeletal fingers poking through the dirt and a scattering of other thin bones.

That was all that was left of 2-month-old Antoine Flemons when police unearthed his body from the shallow grave his parents dug for the boy, who lived a short life ended by a beating.

Images of the baby's remains flashed on a screen in Prince George's County Circuit Court on Thursday when the child's father, Antoine Petty, 33, was sentenced to 40 years in prison for his son's killing.

In graphic detail, prosecutors described his numerous encounters with Child Protective Services over the past decade — a series of reported black eyes, broken ribs and malnourished children.

They also described how Petty, frustrated with his crying child last year, dangled the infant by the arm and repeatedly struck him before handing the baby to his mother to feed. When the baby continued to cry, Petty dealt another round of blows, quieting the child forever.

" 'You're spoiling this child,' " Petty allegedly told his wife after punching the baby "over and over again," Assistant State's Attorney Artemis Moutsatsos said during Thursday's sentencing hearing.

Petty, who suffers from bipolar disorder and other mental health issues, apologized to his family and wife for his actions, saying he panicked when he should have called 911. Petty described the child's death as an "accident."

"I never had no intentions of killing my son," Petty told the judge.

Prince George's County Judge Michael Pearson issued Petty the maximum sentence for the charge of child abuse resulting in death. Pearson said that in his 19 years as a prosecutor, defense attorney and judge, he had never encountered such a horrific case.

"I don't think there's any case that has disturbed me to the core as much as this one," Pearson said.

Flemons was killed Sept. 21, 2016, after the child became unresponsive from his father's assault.

Petty and his wife tried to administer CPR when the baby struggled to breathe, said Douglas R. Irminger, Petty's public defender.

"When they realized the child had died, they panicked," Irminger said.

Petty and his wife then kept the child in their car — a black hearse — overnight, prosecutors said. They slept, went to work and ran errands over the course of 24 hours before taking the infant to the back of Parkdale High School and burying him in the woods.

Relatives said they hadn't seen the baby and reported concerns to Child Protective Services on Sept. 22, 2016, and again four days later, prosecutors said. The Pettys told their family the child was with other relatives to explain why their son wasn't always with them, police have said.

The child's remains were finally unearthed after he had been buried a month when detectives tracked down the parents, who led them to his burial site, prosecutors said.

Geneice Petty, the child's mother, pleaded guilty to one count of involuntary manslaughter and is set to be sentenced in December.

Petty's sister, who had reported concerns about her nephew's whereabouts to Child Protective Services, said her brother received a sentence that was too harsh.

"The judge ignored the fact that he had a mental illness," Sharnell Campbell said. "If my brother got the help he needed, we wouldn't be here today."

Prosecutors cited a long list of encounters that Petty had had with Child Protective Services dating from at least 2007. Petty is the father of nine.

He was accused of carving a three-inch cross into his 5-year-old daughter's arm, malnourishing his 11-month-old, pushing a 5-year-old down stairs, giving a 10-year-old a black eye, and forcing one of his daughters to watch him and a girlfriend have sex, prosecutors said.

In one case, his 11-month-old child was taken to a hospital with rib fractures, injuries doctors declared weren't accidental, Moutsatsos said.

None of those complaints resulted in criminal charges, Irminger said. Prosecutors said the complaints weren't reported to police.

"Nobody came to the defense of this baby, not his family, not the government, not his parents," Prince George's County State's Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said. "He was literally a defenseless baby."