CLEVELAND-- Emotions were running high in a Cuyahoga County courtroom on Tuesday morning, at the sentencing hearing of a Bedford Heights man, convicted of causing the death of his own niece.
The mother of two-year-old Kayla Turner angrily confronted her brother, 21-year-old Denzel Turner, who earlier had pleaded guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter, felonious assault and child endangering.
Lakeshia Turner said, “You are not my brother; my brother would have never put his hands on my baby like that, ever.”
Prosecutors said Denzel Turner and his girlfriend, 26-year-old Andrea Mitchell, volunteered to watch Kayla, but on March 10, they called 911 to report the child was unresponsive after falling and hitting her head.
But investigators said an autopsy revealed that the child had been severely beaten.
Before he was sentenced, Denzel Turner described his niece’s death as a mistake, which prompted an angry response from his sister. "Ain't no mistake. Murder is not a mistake. This is intentional. You begged me for weeks to let you watch her, just for you all to do this to her," said Lakeshia Turner.
Denzel Turner was sentenced to 22 years in prison by Judge Peter Corrigan.
Andrea Mitchell was earlier sentenced to six years for her role in the crime.