CLEVELAND– The father of 4-year-old Aniya Day-Garrett reflected on a life that ended way too soon during Wednesday’s sentencing hearing.
Mickhal Garrett referred to his daughter as his princess and an angel, watching over his family. She was a smart little girl, and Garrett looked forward to taking her to kindergarten, teaching her to drive and watching her graduate high school to start her own journey in life.
“Those are the desires I had for my daughter before her life was cut short at just 4 years old,” Garrett said.
Aniya died on March 11, 2018 after suffering months of abuse. Her mother, Sierra Day, and her mother’s boyfriend, Deonte Lewis, were convicted of aggravated murder in her death. On Wednesday, Day was sentenced to life in prison without parole while Lewis got life in prison with the chance of parole after 20 years.
“I have waited for this day and I sought justice to the full extent of law,” Garrett said. “In my opinion, the death penalty would be fair. But then again, that would be be too easy for the torture and death for a 4-year-old child.”
Garrett criticized Lewis for not doing anything to help Aniya, calling him a weak man. He questioned how Day could hurt her own flesh and blood.
“These two murderers, these monsters ruined by entire life.”
The grieving father thanked the judge, jury and members of the media. He called the sentences excellent and fair.
Outside the courtroom, there was a sense of relief on Garrett’s face. In a pink suit jacket, his daughter’s favorite color, he smiled as his said: “Justice for Aniya.”
That fight isn’t over as the Garrett family continues to push for changes to Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services, an agency that the state determined failed Aniya. During the trial, jurors heard how the little girl said, “Mommy did it,” when asked about her injuries.
“Aniya tried to save her own life and she’s going to save the world,” Garrett said.