A father has been sentenced to a minimum of 18 years and nine months in prison for beating his two-year-old daughter to death in an attack he had hoped would make her a lesbian.
Donovan Lamar Haynes, 23, was sentenced in Flint, Michigan on Monday after pleading no contest to second-degree murder for the 2011 killing of Ti’Airra Woodward.
A pre-sentence investigation report claimed Haynes had beat the girl to turn her gay in hope that she would avoid men like him, who had a history of treating women poorly, Mlive reported.
Haynes’ attorney Elbert Hatchett called him ‘deranged’ before Genesee Circuit Judge Joseph J. Farah sentenced him to serve a concurrent five-to-15-years in prison for first-degree child abuse.
‘You don’t beat her in hopes she’s going to turn gay,’ Farah said, adding that Haynes should have used his own experiences to teach his daughter how to deal with aggressive men.
‘This case is a case that defies reason, logic, common sense,’ Hatchett added. ‘[It’s a] tragedy to see the life of an innocent child snuffed out for no reason at all.’
The attorney added that Haynes needs to undergo psychological counseling while in prison.
Haynes bit and beat Ti’Airra in July 2011 and she was found unresponsive in the basement of Haynes’ mother’s Flint Township home.
The little girl was rushed to hospital but was pronounced dead at Hurley Medical Center.
Authorities initially said that it appeared she had died from a blunt force trauma to the abdomen and the medical examiner’s report said the toddler died of internal bleeding from a lacerated liver.
After her death, Flint Police Chief George Sippert said she was the youngest homicide victim he could remember in 25 years with the department.
‘It’s extremely tragic and I know it affects a lot of members of the police department that are investigating this case,’ he said.
Ti’Airra’s mother, Nakeesha Woodward, left the court in tears on Monday but returned to the courtroom in time to hear her former boyfriend’s sentence.
‘I lost a child,’ she sobbed as she asked the judge for the strictest punishment.