Fayette County

Lexington couple found guilty in death of infant

A Fayette Circuit Court jury found a Lexington couple guilty on Wednesday night in connection with the abuse and death of the woman's infant daughter nearly four years ago.

Roy Rankin was found guilty of wanton murder and first-degree criminal abuse. The jury recommended that he receive 20 years in prison for wanton murder and 10 years for first-degree criminal abuse and that those sentences run concurrently, Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Lou Anna Red Corn said. Rankin would be eligible for parole in 17 years. Formal sentencing for him is scheduled for June 5.

Samantha Monahan was found guilty of first-degree criminal abuse, and the jury recommended that she receive a 10-year sentence, Red Corn said. Monahan would be eligible for parole in two years. Her formal sentencing is scheduled for May 29.

The jury was out for about seven hours Wednesday, reaching a verdict before 9 p.m.

Six-month-old Cecilia Alvarado, Monahan's daughter, 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 sustained "repeated contact with some hard, flat surface," according to authorities.

Rankin and Monahan initially told police that Monahan's son, who was 2 at the time, might have caused the baby's fatal injuries.

Defense attorney Scott West said last month that Rankin is "mildly mentally retarded" and might not have been able to identify signs of abuse. West also said Rankin had tried to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation, for which he had no training, on Cecilia and could have injured her in the attempt.