A man convicted last month of killing his girlfriend's infant daughter was sentenced to 20 years in prison Friday.
A jury found Roy D. Rankin, 29, guilty of murder and criminal abuse May 6 in the death of 6-month-old Cecilia Alvarado, the daughter of Samantha Monahan.
Rankin's attorneys asked Fayette Circuit Judge Thomas Clark on Friday to throw out the jury's guilty verdict because of lack of evidence that Rankin acted with an indifference to human life. Scott West, one of Rankin's attorneys, said the jury convicted Rankin based on circumstantial evidence.
Cecilia died of severe blunt-force trauma to the brain on Aug. 22, 2005, according to authorities. Rankin was baby-sitting the child that day. An autopsy showed that the baby's arms and legs also had multiple fractures, some of which were three to four months old. The autopsy showed that she had suffered "repeated contact with some hard, flat surface," authorities said.
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Rankin and Monahan initially told police that Monahan's son, Miguel Alvarado, who was 2 at the time, might have caused the baby's fatal injuries.
Before sentencing Rankin, Clark asked whether he wanted to make a statement. Rankin declined.
Clark said there was sufficient evidence for the conviction. He agreed with the jury's recommendation of a 20-year sentence and 10 years for the criminal abuse charge. The sentences will be served concurrently.
Rankin will be eligible for parole in 17 years.
Clark's ruling provoked an outcry from Rankin's family, who filled nearly two rows in the courtroom.
"My son did not kill a baby. No way," Rebecca Ann Rankin, Roy Rankin's mother, yelled as she left the courtroom. "An innocent man's gone to prison ... he wouldn't hurt a flea."
Monahan was found guilty of first-degree criminal abuse, and the jury recommended that she receive a 10-year sentence. She would be eligible for parole in two years. Monahan's sentencing is scheduled for June 12 in Fayette Circuit Court.