The family of a baby boy who died after his father repeatedly slammed him to the ground wanted the killer to spend the rest of his life in prison.
The boy's mother and great-grandmother wept yesterday after a Franklin County judge sentenced Quindell K. Sherman to 25 years to life.
The mother, Sonia Mitchell, was so overcome by emotion after the sentence that she nearly collapsed outside the courtroom and was helped by friends and relatives to a chair in a nearby conference room.
Minutes earlier, Carolynne Holmes told Common Pleas Judge John P. Bessey that Sherman should "never have a chance to be in society again" after throwing her great-grandson to the pavement "like he was a piece of meat."
She said she hopes God has mercy on Sherman's soul because "when you kill a child, you kill God's angels."
Sherman, 20, pleaded guilty in March to one count of aggravated murder as part of a plea deal to avoid a possible death sentence.
He killed 3-month-old Jayden Mitchell during an argument with the boy's mother on Nov. 16 while trying to take the baby from her home at 1221 E. 16th Ave. in South Linden.
The parents were not married and did not live together.
Police say he threw the baby onto the concrete front porch of the house, then picked him up and flung him an estimated 25feet into the middle of the street. He dragged the baby down the street by one arm "like a rag doll" and threw him to the pavement again before fleeing down an alley, according to a police report.
Police found him hiding with the baby in a trash bin on E. 17th Avenue.
Prosecutor Ron O'Brien asked Bessey to impose the maximum sentence of life with no chance for parole.
The judge also had the option of sentencing Sherman to life in prison with a chance for parole after 20, 25 or 30 years.
Sherman's attorney, Kevin Mulrane, recommended a sentence of 20 years to life. He said his client grew up in a series of foster homes and group homes after being abandoned by his parents at age 5 but managed to avoid drugs and gangs.
"His history is not one that calls out for a maximum sentence," Mulrane said.
Bessey said his decision was influenced by Sherman's age and his lack of an adult criminal record. As a juvenile, Sherman had a record of nonviolent offenses.
Sherman kept his head bowed for much of the hearing and showed no emotion. He calmly read an apology for his "horrible actions" before he was sentenced.
"I'm really at a loss for words when I think about my actions that day," he said. "It's hard to believe those were my actions."
Two representatives from Central Ohio Youth for Christ told the judge that Sherman was an active member of the group in the months before the murder and said the crime was out of character for him. Michael Taylor urged Bessey to "give (Sherman) some opportunity to show that he can be redeemed."
The baby's mother, who asked the judge to impose a life sentence with no chance of parole during the plea hearing in March, did not speak in court yesterday.
A victim's advocate from the prosecutor's office said the mother and great-grandmother were too emotional to comment after the sentencing.
By John Futty - The Columbus Dispatch (MCT)
Copyright (c) 2011, The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio
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