A guilty plea and a 7 1/2-year prison sentence was not justice served in the eyes of relatives of a slain 2-year-old girl.
Robin Waddy, 24, was sentenced Friday after pleading guilty to second-degree manslaughter in July for the death of Doni'Sha Lewis.
Waddy was baby-sitting Doni'Sha in April 2010 when the girl was found in a bathtub covered in bruises. She died the next day.
Fayette Circuit Court Judge James Ishmael issued the sentence over pleas from Doni'Sha's mother, Alnisha Lewis, that 71/2 years was not enough. The maximum sentence for manslaughter is 10 years.
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"It's not right," Lewis said when given an opportunity to address the court. "I will never get to see my daughter ever again."
Ishmael apologized but told Lewis his hands were tied. The plea deal was arranged between prosecutors and defense attorneys, he said.
"There are many factors that go into those type of recommendations," he said. "It is not the prerogative of the court to second-guess the prosecutor."
Ishmael told Lewis that if he did not honor the plea deal, Waddy would have the right under Kentucky law to withdraw her guilty plea and go to trial.
"Then we would be back at square one, as it were," he said. "Now, that may be where you want to go ..."
"Yes," Alnisha Lewis interrupted.
Lewis' relatives explained after the hearing that Lewis wanted Waddy to go to trial so she could find out what happened.
Witnesses originally said Doni'Sha had been hurt in a bathtub while staying with Waddy at an apartment in the 1800 block of McCullough Drive.
The indictment, issued Dec. 20, said Waddy "inflicted blunt-force injury to the head and body" of the girl.
No other information has been made public.
Beverly Bennett, Alnisha Lewis' mother, said the family has never gotten satisfactory answers from police, prosecutors or Waddy herself about the cause of Doni'Sha's injuries.
"There's not going to be no closure," a tearful Bennett said. "We've got to go day by day not knowing what happened."
Waddy did not speak at the hearing, but her attorney, Chad Butcher, told Ishmael that Waddy would not seek probation because she wanted to take responsibility for her actions, even though "it was not an intentional act."
He said Waddy was grieving over the child's death as well.
"She's got the added grief and guilt of having been responsible for this, and that's something that she'll have to live with for the rest of her life," he said.
For Doni'Sha's family, that wasn't enough — even the full 10 years for manslaughter would not be enough, said Carnetta Davis, Alnisha Lewis' aunt.
Davis said Waddy should have been charged with murder, which would have brought a lengthier sentence of 25 years to life in prison if she had been found guilty.
"It shouldn't have been no manslaughter," she said.
Doni'Sha "was beat bad, bruises all over her. There wasn't anybody in that house but Robin."