A Tacoma man was sentenced today to 18 years in prison after pleading guilty to a second-degree murder charge for shaking his 8-month-old daughter to death.
Ivryee Flowers, 21, had been taking care of his daughter, Leileah Flowers, on the evening of Dec. 7 2011, according to the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. He placed her in a bassinet so he could play video games, but the child continued to cry.
Ivryee Flowers then shook his daughter until he heard her gasp for breath, at which point he called his uncle and then 911 for help, according to the prosecutor’s office.
By the time Tacoma Fire Department medics transported the baby to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, the prosecutor says, she had already suffered internal bleeding in her brain and retinal hemorrhages caused by the shaking. On Dec. 8, the baby was declared brain dead. She was taken off life-support the next day.
According to the News Tribune, prosecutors had recommended a 15-year sentence for Ivryee Flowers, but Pierce County Superior Court Judge James Orlando gave him even more time.
“There’s no degree of remorse that I’ve sensed from you that convinces me that you realize the enormity of what you’ve done,” Orlando told Flowers, according to the News Tribune.
The story says the defendant did express apologies to the family in court.
“This was an accident,” he said. “I truly loved and still love my daughter. When I come home, I’ll do everything I can to make her proud of me.”