A Michigan couple accused of brutally beating their toddler to death because she kept having accidents during potty training was sentenced in court on Wednesday.
Erika Finley, 29, was sentenced to 15 to 40 years in prison and Khairy J. Simon, 27, was sentenced to 12 to 40, for the 2015 death of their daughter Kimora Lee Simon, according to The Flint Journal. Simon confessed to the crime in a Genesee County courtroom on June 12, and Finley pleaded no contest on Aug. 1.
"Ms. Finley - you have a stain on your soul," Genesee Circuit Judge Geoffrey L. Neithercut told the mother during the sentencing, according to the Journal. "The heinous act that you did causes every mother in this community to wonder why. Every parent in this community is appalled."
Simon admitted to stuffing the girl in a trash bag - and then a backpack - and burying her in a shallow grave. He said he and Finley would beat Kimora when she repeatedly had accidents during potty training, according to WJRT-TV. He told police that Finley would hit the child not only with fists, but with an extension cord.
The couples other two children, two boys ages 5 and 7, were also in the house at the time of Kimora's fatal beating. Simon claimed Finley was behind that attack. When asked why he didn't stop Finley from beating the girl, Simon said he wanted to but didn't.
"I tried. I tried to stop her, but she's domineering," Simon said when he pleaded guilty for the crime, according to WJRT-TV. "She's much bigger than me. And at that time, she felt like she had to get her point across."
As for Finley, she pleaded no contest to the charges of second-degree murder and child abuse, among other charges. Finley was also convicted of welfare fraud, The Flint Journal reported, because she continued to cash welfare checks for Kimora more than a year after the child's death.
The child's body was never recovered, and investigators think it was taken away by animals.
Both parents offered apologies for their actions.
"I want to apologize to everyone that this situation affected," Simon said during his sentencing hearing. "I ask for forgiveness."
Finley apologized in a letter written by her attorney.
"I can't tell you how much I miss Kimora," the letter said. "I can't tell you how sorry I am. I realize I have to be punished. I know that no matter how much time I do, it's not going to bring my daughter back."
[Photo: Flint Police Department]
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