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A Florida man found guilty earlier this year in the fatal 2017 shootings of a woman and her 11-year-old daughter has been sentenced to death.
Marlin Joseph, 29, who earlier this year was convicted in the murders of Kaladaa Crowell and her daughter Kyra Kalis Inglett, was condemned to death by a circuit judge in Florida last week.
"Marlin Joseph, you have not only forfeited your right to live among us, but under the law of the state of Florida, you have forfeited your right to live at all," Judge Cheryl Caracuzzo told Joseph after sentencing him at Palm Beach County Circuit Court on Thursday, according to the Palm Beach Post.
The fatal shooting occurred on December 28, 2017, the newspaper reported. Joseph opened fire on Crowell, 36, ultimately shooting her in the head, at a West Palm Beach home they shared. He then chased the woman’s 11-year-old daughter outside, shooting Kyra Kalis Inglett five times. Joseph later fled in Crowell’s car, according to detectives.
“Kyra was no doubt aware of her impending death,” Caracuzzo added. “There can be nothing more terrifying for a child than knowing that someone has just shot their mother multiple times and now was coming after them...There is no doubt that this panic-stricken little girl experienced a level of terror that no child or no one should ever have to endure.”
Joseph, who was living at the residence he shared with his mother and other family members, allegedly shot the woman and her daughter after a dispute arose between his and Crowell’s daughter, who were approximately the same age, according to the Palm Beach Post.
Crowell was reportedly dating Joseph’s mother at the time.
"Kyra did not deserve anything she got," Kevlin Fedrick, the 11-year-old’s cousin said, WPEC reported. "Whether she had to listen to the gunshots ring out or had to run, she did not deserve that."
The grieving relative described Joseph’s sentence as bittersweet.
“We can't get back what was taken from us," he added.
The family members, many of whom openly wept in court as the sentence was read, thanked prosecutors outside the courtroom while speaking with reporters.
"All of the support you've given to our family over these last three years, it helped us to get through it," Lajunia Crowell, Kaladaa’s mother, told the Palm Beach Post.
A jury had convicted Joseph of two counts of first-degree murder and additional gun charges on Feb. 24, the newspaper previously reported.
In October, Crowell’s father compared Joseph to an “infectious disease” in court, calling him “an absolute evil person in its purest form,” according to the Palm Beach Post.
"You should be banished from this earth,” Kenneth Crowell said. “That way, no one else can be affected."
At the same hearing, the condemned man’s family attempted to dissuade the judge from considering capital punishment.
"I love you forever," Martin’s brother, Cordarious, said in court. "No death penalty is going to change that."
The case marks the first time since 2002 Palm Beach County has sent a prisoner to death row.
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