Kinsey Jerry sentencing hears from his infant victim's grieving family
Kinsey Jerry pleaded guilty in April to manslaughter and aggravated assault for attacks on his children
With her sister behind her holding her by the shoulders, Keisha McGuire stood in the witness box and read her victim impact statement at Kinsey Jerry's sentencing hearing in a Calgary courtroom on Monday, describing the grief and pain she's felt since he killed her niece Honey Jerry in 2007.
"I could feel my heart breaking," said McGuire. "Watching Honey struggle to breathe in her mom's arms and watching her take her last breath was the hardest thing I have ever had to witness."
Jerry pleaded guilty to manslaughter and aggravated assault in April in connection with violent attacks on two four-month-old babies in Calgary and Siksika.
"Honey Baby," as her family calls her, would have celebrated her 10th birthday next month.
Prosecutors Shane Parker, Kane Richards and Mac Vomberg made sentencing arguments on Monday afternoon, asking for a four year sentence on the manslaughter charge and another four years on the aggravated assault conviction.
"Honey needed her father to protect her, not assault her," said Parker in his submissions.
Jerry acted in a "flash of anger," said Parker and described Honey as a completely innocent and defenceless victim.
Jerry's lawyer, Rebecca Snukal, agreed with the Crown on the manslaughter sentence but asked the judge to consider two years for aggravated assault.
Lawyers are in agreement the two sentences should be served consecutively.
A dozen members of Honey Jerry's family sat together in the gallery of the courtroom, all wearing purple T-shirts that read "justice for honey" while tears streamed down their faces.
"She passed away peacefully in my arms as she took her last breath," wrote Honey's mother Megan Yellowfly in her victim impact statement.
"I began to lose track of my life shortly after the death of my daughter."
In January 2007, Honey Jerry was four-months-old when Jerry violently shook her after an argument with his girlfriend, Megan Yellowfly.
Yellowfly left the couple's Ranchlands home to do laundry after the fight and shortly after, Jerry showed up at his neighbour's house and asked to call 911.
The neighbour went to Jerry's home and found the baby was limp, wasn't breathing, her forehead was blue and purple and she had pale lips.
At the hospital, doctors found the baby suffered a brain injury consistent with being violently shaken. They also noted there may have been signs of an older brain injury as well.
Honey died five weeks later when she was taken off life support.
Jerry lied to police several times throughout the following investigation.
Four years later, in 2011, Jerry was living with another girlfriend and their four-month-old son when the baby's mother left the baby alone with Jerry while she took a shower.
Afterward the child appeared to be sleeping with his eyes open, focused in different directions.
At the hospital, it was determined the baby suffered a fractured skull, his tonsils had been torn, an eye was bruised and bleeding and he had chemical burns inside and outside his mouth.
The baby was in hospital for five weeks.
In an interview with RCMP on March 6, 2013 Jerry admitted to striking the boy when he started crying because he was fed up.
The child "suffered a significant brain injury from this incident," reads the agreed statement of facts.
According to a pre-sentence report, Jerry struggles with alcohol and drug abuse, and was physically and sexually abused as a child.
Justice Suzanne Bensler will make her decision on Sept. 6.