Friday, June 14, 2013

Dad found guilty of 2nd-degree murder in death of 7-week-old daughter (Fort Myers, Florida)

Dad is identified as STEVEN CANTRELL.

34 years for dad in N. Fort Myers infant death

Posted: Jun 14, 2013 10:36 AM EDT
Updated: Jun 14, 2013 4:19 PM EDT

By Matt Wright, Reporter

A judge found a North Fort Myers man guilty of second degree murder in connection to the death of his 7-week-old daughter.

On Friday morning, a judge sentenced Steven Cantrell to 34 years in prison after his baby girl Jada died under his care last March.

Cantrell changed his original plea of no contest.

"When my daughter died, a part of me died with her. I only had seven short weeks with my firstborn daughter. Parents should never have to bury their child," said Jada's mother, Faith Boyki at the court hearing.

On March 23, 2012, Lee County deputies got a 911 call from a home on Palm Creek Drive in North Fort Myers in regards to an unresponsive infant.

Paramedics rushed Jada to the hospital, but it was too late.

Doctors reported finding multiple skull fractures and severe head trauma.

Cantrell was arrested and charged with first degree felony murder.

Family members spoke out in court as an emotionless Cantrell changed his plea.

He denied harming Jada in the past, but now pleads no contest.

"Just the other day I was thinking and wondering: if Jada could talk or speak, what would she say to both of her parents," said Jada's grandmother Deborah Boyki.

"My mind just wonders what could she look like, what personality she would have. All I was left with was seven short weeks of memories I had with her," said Jada's mom.

While the conviction means justice and closure, Boyski still feels a great loss.

"There's nothing that will bring back my daughter," she said.