Sunday, October 26, 2014

Custodial dad found guilty of manslaughter in torture-murder of 11-year-old daughter (Sarasota, Florida)

Doing some follow up work on some of the many cases we follow here at Dastardly. Somehow we missed that custodial dad KENNETH STODDARD was finally convicted of manslaughter last month.

The mother lived in North Carolina and after Dad gained custody, she basically lost all contact.

Stoddard guilty of manslaughter in death of daughter

By Gabrielle Russon

Published: Friday, September 5, 2014 at 3:15 p.m. Last Modified: Friday, September 5, 2014 at 5:21 p.m.

SARASOTA - The trees and Spanish moss block out the afternoon sun, casting shade over this house on a dead-end street east of the interstate. A white horse shakes its mane in a nearby pasture and down the road are manicured, expensive homes and a golf course.

It's been nearly two years since 11-year-old Melissa Stoddard was killed here, suffocating after being tied to a plywood board with duct tape placed over her mouth.

Melissa's death would forever alter the lives of those close to her, but none more than her five half-siblings. They were removed from this home but not before witnessing weeks of abuse and the frantic rescue efforts as first-responders tried to save the girl that night in December 2012.

On Friday, Melissa's case ended as a jury convicted her biological father, Kenneth Stoddard, on a trio of felonies — including aggravated manslaughter — that could send him to prison for up to 65 years.

In June, his partner, Misty Stoddard, was found guilty of first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse. She was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

It was Misty Stoddard who placed the tape over Melissa's mouth, the fatal act, prosecutors said. But it was the child's father who failed to protect her, bought the board and knew what was happening in the home.