Saturday, September 19, 2015

Custodial dad, step "really sorry" about torture-murder of 6-year-old daughter (Calgary, Canada)

True to our Dastardly Dad axiom: A killer's dad's custodial status is neatly "forgotten" by the time he goes to trial. Though you wouldn't know it here, dad SPENCER JORDAN had primary custody of this murdered child. See our previous posts.

See the Killer Dads and Custody list for Canada.

Couple apologizes before getting life for causing death of Meika Jordan, 6

Daryl Slade, Calgary Herald
Published on: September 18, 2015 | Last Updated: September 18, 2015 9:15 PM MDT

An apology by the father and stepmother of Meika Jordan, convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced on Friday to life with no parole for 17 years for the torture death of the six-year-old girl, was far past due, say the girl’s mother and stepfather.

“I thought it was too little, too late, something that should have happened four years ago,” the girl’s mother Kyla Woodhouse said outside court.

“When it comes down to it, it was decent of them to offer that to us. It’s a little bit of closure on our end to see them show some emotion and humanity out of this. But in no way do we accept it. It’s nothing people can apologize for.”

Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Rosemary Nation said in sentencing the girl’s father Spencer Jordan, 28, and stepmother Marie Magoon, 26, that it was difficult to fathom how someone could do such heinous acts to a child.

“Words cannot describe the egregious nature of this crime,” she said. “That a parent and caregiver can abuse a child in such a way is horrendous. Children are our most prized … they are our future.”

Jordan and Magoon earlier told a courtroom packed with family and friends of the girl that they were sorry for the trauma they caused as a result of the fatal injuries they inflicted on Meika over the Nov. 10-13, 2011, weekend.

“I’m sorry, but sorry doesn’t bring her back,” Spencer Jordan, 28, told the girl’s family and friends, his voice cracking. “Sorry doesn’t bring her back, but I’m sorry for everything. I’m sorry her brothers and sisters will not see her grow up.

“The victim is not me. (Meika) died in my care, under my roof. It’s my responsibility. I loved Meika, I still do and I miss her every single day. If I could bring her back, I would …”

Magoon, 26, was also emotional in reading her written statement.

“I’m really sorry for all the pain and suffering I caused,” she said. “It bothers me every day that I failed her. I really am sorry. I feel a lot of shame and I deeply regret my actions.

“My actions were painful, cruel and unforgivable. There are no excuses for my irresponsible behaviour. I wish I could take it all back. I have a great deal of remorse. I will do everything in my power to get better. I’m really sorry, Kyla, for taking your baby away. She was a beautiful soul.”

Before reading their statements, the couple listened intently as Kyla and Brian Woodhouse, Kyla’s sister Brittany Pinnell, Meika’s grandfather Kevin Kushner, and step-grandmother Heather Grady read their gut-wrenching victim impact statements.

“How does anyone put into words the loss of a child, my child, my baby girl,” a sobbing Kyla Woodhouse said. “Words cannot express the pain and loss, the sorrow and anguish, the sheer devastation myself and family have experienced these last few years without our Meika.

“I will never again get to see her smile, hear her laugh or watch her play, never get to meet her best friends or boyfriends, teach her how to do makeup or accessorize an outfit,” Woodhouse said.

“These things have been stolen from me in the worst way possible, by someone I once trusted. The feelings that run through me every day, I have to try to forgive and forget but the truth is I will never forget. I will not let her death be in vain.” Brian Woodhouse said Jordan and Magoon forced him to live through a parents’ worst nightmare, to receive the news in the middle of the night from officers at the door telling them of their child’s horrific injuries.

“But what you continued to do was much worse, so heinous and selfish,” he said. “You forced us to stand with you as we said our final goodbye and listened to her heart take its final beat. You forced us to allow you to be part of the decision making in the funeral for the child you murdered, sharing with you our day of grief and having to look into your faces as I stood before all and said our final goodbye that you forced us to have to say.”

Outside court, he told reporters he was pleased with the sentence, in that their kids will be of legal age before the killers can get out of prison and are able to look at anybody again.

“To know everything we went through didn’t fall on deaf ears and the judge heard our pleas, to know our side of things, is satisfying,” Brian Woodhouse said.

Crown prosecutors Susan Pepper and Hyatt Mograbee, who sought a sentence without parole for 21 years, were nevertheless content with the judge’s reasons.

“When a person is convicted, as they were convicted of murdering a child while in a position of trust, that brings up the sentence,” Mograbee said. “The sentence was within the range we proposed.”

Pepper said the case has been a long, arduous ordeal, and it is a relief for everybody.

“We were privileged to work with some many excellent people — police, experts, other citizens,” said Pepper. “But we want to acknowledge how grateful this has been for family — Kyla, Brian, family and friends. They’ve been here every step of the way. We hope they have happier times and bring an end to a horrible chapter in their lives.”

Pepper earlier told the judge that Meika Jordan’s death “involved abuse and suffering of a child at the hands of Jordan and Magoon over a long period of time.

“The court found as fact that Meika Jordan sustained head injuries, abdominal injuries, multiple bruises and abrasions when she was dragged over various surfaces, pulled up the stairs by her hair, she was missing hair, and had a burn on her hand from being held over a lighter.”

She also said the couple’s attempt to cover up the crime and failing to call 911 until it was too late are both aggravating factors that call for a longer prison sentence.

Magoon’s lawyer, Allan Fay, agreed with the Crown that his client deserved to spend more than the minimum required time in prison before becoming eligible for parole. But he said 13 to 15 years was appropriate.

“This case falls into the spectrum of horrendousness,” Fay added. “It’s hard for any of us to fathom how this could come to be. My client appreciates the tremendous trauma the family has suffered because of this incident. She acknowledges the feelings they have on her.”

Jordan’s lawyer Mitch Stephensen said his client, obviously, was “not the best father, but not for lack of trying.” #He sought a parole ineligibility period of 10 to 12 years.

“He wasn’t a cruel dad,” he said. “Mr. Jordan loved his daughter, too. He’s a victim here. You can blame him, but no one blames him more than himself.”

Stephensen noted that the judge, in convicting the parents of second-degree murder, decided they did not have the intent to kill, only that they recklessly caused the child’s injuries.

Jordan and Magoon faced first-degree murder charges at the start of trial, but the judge convicted them of the lesser charge, which draws a parole period of 10 to 25 years.

Had they been convicted of first-degree murder, they would have been handed automatic life terms without parole for 25 years.