Monday, August 9, 2010

Custodial dad, step get life for murder, torture of 3-year-old girl (St. Clair County, Michigan)

We've posted several times on this case. Now custodial dad JOE GALVAN, along with the step, have been sentenced to life in prison for the murder and torture of his 3-year-old daughter. Note the uncle's comments in bold below. Who made the decision that these sh*** should have had custody of this child, and why aren't they being held accountable?

Galvans get life
Judge says trial left him 'physically ill' as Prhaze's murderers taken to prison

By ANGELA MULLINS Times Herald• August 7, 2010

St. Clair County Circuit Judge Daniel Kelly had little to say Friday to Prhaze Galvan's murderers.

State law speaks for itself, Kelly told Joe and Jennifer Galvan.

"Your day of reckoning has arrived," he said.

"From this day forward, you shall serve the rest of your natural life in prison," he continued, putting a rubber stamp on the mandatory sentence for felony murder.

Mother sheds tears for girl, but glad 3-year-old can rest
Mother sheds tears for girl, but glad 3-year-old can rest

Joe and Jennifer Galvan -- 3-year-old Prhaze's father and stepmother -- stood with their lawyers as their sentences were read. The Galvans, shackled and dressed in orange jail-issued clothing, showed no emotion and made no statements.

Four guards from the county's corrections department were scattered across the courtroom. Some kept a close watch on the Galvans; others faced the more than 50 people who sat elbow-to-elbow in the gallery and were prepared for outbursts. There were none, beyond a collective gasp as Kelly read the sentence.

The Galvans also were sentenced to prison on a litany of additional charges stemming from Prhaze's Jan. 15 death. The Kimball Township girl died of blunt-force head trauma.

Joe Galvan, 26, also was ordered to spend 30 to 50 years in prison for torture, 20 to 30 years for first-degree child abuse, six to 10 years for possessing a firearm as a felon and one to two years for marijuana possession. He is considered a third-time habitual offender.

Jennifer Galvan, 29, also was sentenced to 23 to 40 years in prison for torture, 10 to 15 years for first-degree child abuse and one year for marijuana possession.

The sentences will be concurrent. Sheriff Tim Donnellon said the Galvans were taken to prisons Friday afternoon -- Joe Galvan to Jackson and Jennifer Galvan to Ypsilanti.

Kelly's sentences followed the recommendations made by probation officers who filed pre-sentence investigations with the court. Wyatt Harris, who represented Jennifer Galvan during the nearly monthlong jury trial that ended July 7, and John Livesay, Joe Galvan's lawyer, made few challenges to the sentences.

Both lawyers questioned the 202 days of credit the Galvans will receive for jail time served. The lawyers contended the Galvans were taken into police custody a day earlier than indicated in the sentencing report and, therefore, were due more credit. Kelly disagreed.

Much of what Kelly did not say as he read the Galvans' sentences already had been made clear. The case was "one of the most difficult" that's come to his docket, he said, his voice breaking at times.

Kelly handled the case of Edward Swinson and Linda Sue Paling, who in January 2000 fatally beat and drowned their daughter, Ariana Swinson of Port Huron Township. At the time, he expected it would be the worst case he'd ever see.

"I was wrong," Kelly said Friday.

"Day after day, I left emotionally and physically drained," he added, referencing the Galvans' trial.

The trial, which brought out graphic details about bruises that covered Prhaze's body during an autopsy and multiple witnesses who detailed the abusive home she lived in, left him "physically ill" on some days, Kelly said.

"There isn't any sentence that can give justice to Prhaze Galvan," he said at one point in Friday's hearing.

Michael Myers, an uncle to Cassandra Lovett, Prhaze's biological mother, spoke in court on behalf of the little girl's family.

"We lost Prhaze the day Jennifer and Joe took custody. She was a loving and caring child who was taken brutally from us," he said. "We just want to make sure we have some closure."

Lovett isn't sure closure is possible.

"It's never going to end," she said after a graveside service that followed the sentencing. "I'm just glad she can rest."