CLEVELAND– The couple found guilty of murdering 4-year-old Aniya Day-Garrett were sentenced on Wednesday.
Sierra Day, 24, received life in prison without the possibility of parole. Her boyfriend, Deonte Lewis, 27, was sentenced to life in prison with the eligibility of parole after 20 years.
Judge Timothy McCormick called Day’s actions “callous.”
“I cannot temper justice with mercy,” he said before handing down his sentence.
Earlier this month, Day and Lewis were both found guilty of aggravated murder, murder, felonious assault, child abuse, child endangering and tampering with evidence.
“I think he (McCormick) actually held accountable the person who harmed this child from the beginning,” said assistant prosecutor Anna Marie Faraglia.
Day’s 4-year-old daughter died in March 2018. During trial, officials testified Aniya was malnourished and suffered at least one stroke due to tearing blood vessels on her brain from blows to the head. They said she endured years of abuse and neglect, and reports to social and daycare workers were apparently ignored.
Aniya’s father, Mickhal Garrett, was fighting for custody of Aniya at the time of her death. He told the jury he filed a complaint with Cuyahoga Count Children and Family Services and a report with East Cleveland police when he noticed signs of abuse during a visit with his daughter. That’s why the family said justice isn’t over after sentencing.