A man identified only as Jose David N, who was recorded on camera repeatedly throwing his three-year-old stepdaughter into a swimming pool, before leaving her to drown, has been jailed for 100 years.
Chilling surveillance footage showed the killer throwing the child into the water at a hotel in the city of Morelia, in the south-western Mexican state of Michoacan in August 2015.
The little girl who could not swim is seen struggling to stay afloat as her stepfather stands by the side of the pool doing nothing. Other bathers as shown hastily exiting the pool, leaving the man to condemn the child to a painful death.
The incident took place while the child’s mother was sleeping in the hotel room and she never noticed her child was dead until after she had made one more visit to the pool with her husband. They then returned to find the child’s body in front of the TV, prompting them to take her to hospital after realising she wasn’t breathing and doctors confirmed she had died.
Jose David N. knew his stepdaughter could not swim but feigned surprise after being told that the youngster had drowned, a court heard. But the CCTV footage was enough to convict him and see him jailed with no possibility of parole.
The mother claimed she did not know her daughter was being maltreated until she saw the shocking video clips.
Jose stayed silent throughout his murder trial and did not testify. Prosecutors had recommended a prison sentence of up to 40 years. But a judge made his punishment more severe after reviewing the footage.
After deliberation, judges Juan Salvador Alonso Mejia, Ana Lilia Garcia Cardona and Noe Reyes Millan found him guilty of aggravated murder.
The judge, Garcia Cardona, who read the sentence, said that not only did the man throw the toddler into the pool several times, he even dragged her by the hair under the water. He then held her tiny body in such a position that she was unable to breathe.
The defence had tried to suggest that the little girl had died outside the pool and not in the water, but this was rejected by the judges.
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