Crime & Courts

Toddler's murder earns man Hard 50

A Wichita man was given a Hard 50 prison sentence Wednesday for the death of an 18-month-old girl who was beaten, tied up in plastic bags and left in an attic to die.

In imposing the sentence, Sedgwick County District Judge Jeff Goering also sentenced Jonell Lloyd, 23, to more than 10 years for child abuse. He ordered Lloyd to serve the sentences consecutively.

Testimony at Lloyd's trial in July showed that he choked and beat Chavira Brown on July 31, 2008, after she woke up with wet pants.

Lloyd had been caring for Chavira at the time in a home he shared with his girlfriend at 15th and Green.

Under Kansas law, a Hard 50 sentence, which requires an inmate to serve 50 years before seeing a parole board, can be imposed only in cases where the aggravating factors of a crime outweigh any mitigating factors.

In imposing the sentence, Goering said Lloyd's troubled childhood, which involved frequent beatings, was indeed a mitigating factor.

But he said the aggravating factors in the case "vastly outweighed" any mitigating factors.

"Chavira did not die quickly," Goering said in issuing his ruling. "She was left in the attic to slowly asphyxiate over a period of hours."

Deputy District Attorney Kim Parker argued that there were several aggravating factors in the case, including her contention that the crime was committed in "an especially heinous, cruel or atrocious manner."

"By a layman's analysis, all of those words apply," she said.

Lloyd's court-appointed lawyer, Alice Osburn, asked Goering to impose a life sentence that would allow Lloyd to see a parole board after 25 years. She said some positive things could come from his life during that time.

"Essentially the state is asking you to place him in the Department of Corrections for the rest of his life," she said.

In a brief statement before he was sentenced, Lloyd maintained his innocence, telling the judge, "I didn't do it."

Chavira's maternal grandmother, Sheervonda Johnson, said after the sentencing that the sentence was appropriate.

"I think the best place for him to be is to be off the streets," she said.

She said Chavira will always be remembered.

"We all love her," she said. "We all miss her.... I'm glad it's finally over with. We can go on with our lives."

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