Ryann Jones sentenced to 25 years to life for 2nd degree murder conviction
VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- Wednesday was an emotional day as a South Valley man was sentenced for killing his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter.
A Tulare County judge sentenced Ryann Jones to 25 years to life in prison for child abuse causing death.
Natalynn Miller died more than five years ago from what prosecutors called blunt force trauma.
Before sentencing Jones, Judge Joseph Kalashian said he was convinced by the evidence that Jones killed the child in a fit of rage. He also talked about Jones' prior battery conviction where he abused a former girlfriend.
Before the sentencing, Jones' attorney tried to ask the judge for a new trial, but was denied.
"The law is that the presumption favors defense council's strategic choices during the course of trial," said defense attorney Phillip Cherney.
Jones was handed down the maximum sentence after a jury convicted him of second-degree murder in the beating death of his girlfriend's daughter, Natalynn Miller.
Before his sentence, the victim's family's impact statements became heated. Natalynn's father, Troy Miller, started yelling and cursing at Jones. The judge asked him to stop.
"She used to tremble whenever his name had to be brought up or she had to speak anything about him. She would tremble in fear just talking about him, and he's supposed to be this loving guy, oh he's gonna take such great care of Natalynn, oh and he's stepping up to be a big dad and a good friend. [Expletive] you! You're [expletive]!" said Troy Miller.
Prosecutors say back in March 2009, Natalynn was killed at the hands of Jones, and that she suffered continual abuse by him leading up to her death. Witnesses testified she called Jones a "monster."
On Wednesday, Judy Plowman cried as she talked about all the moments she will miss with her granddaughter.
"Many nights I lay awake unable to sleep wishing I could have her back for just one hour, long enough for one more glimpse of her smile, her sparking blue eyes, her giggle," said Plowman.
"I don't think there's any mathematical formula or equation that you could use to calculate the pain that has been caused," said Troy Miller.
Natalynn Miller would have been 8 years old today.
Ryann Jones' attorneys are already filing an appeal for the case.
visalia, tulare county, local, jessica peres
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