Ogden • Afton Moneypenny saw her daughter, Kennedy, smile once.
She told her that Mommy loved her, and the infant cooed and smiled. But it was only once.
Kennedy Lucille "Baby K" Marshall died in 2011 when she was nearly three months old after Jeremy David Marshall — Moneypenny’s boyfriend at the time — shook the infant and hit the child’s head on her crib.On Wednesday, Marshall was sentenced to spend at least 15 years and up to life in prison, after he pleaded guilty to first-degree felony murder in the infant’s death.
"No matter whether he got life [in prison] or without parole, it doesn’t matter," Moneypenny told reporters after the sentencing. "No words can express how I feel. I’m almost dumbfounded."
Deputy Weber County Attorney Teral Tree told 2nd District Judge Scott Hadley before sentencing that Kennedy "lived a life of pain." Even before the fatal injuries were inflicted in December 2011, the child had suffered a broken wrist, broken collarbone and broken ribs.
"This is a case that has kept me up at night," Tree said. "This is a case where, when I see my kids, I hold them a little tighter."
Marshall, handcuffed and wearing an orange jail jumpsuit, apologized in court before sentencing.
"It was an accident," he said. "Not a day goes by that I don’t think about what happened, and I feel guilty about it. I’m sorry."
Marshall stared straight ahead as Moneypenny stood behind him in the court gallery, dabbing tears from her eyes, as a letter she wrote was read in court.
"You are a monster," the letter stated. "You had us all fooled, Jeremy. We all trusted you. You were supposed to save Kennedy from the bogeymen. But it was you who was the bogeymen."
During a preliminary hearing, a medical examiner said the infant died as a result of shaking and trauma to her head.
According to court records, the child was brought to a local hospital on Dec. 14, 2011, and died later that day. An autopsy concluded that the child suffered from a lethal closed head injury.
"Marshall stated that while he was attending to [the child] in the middle of the night that he forcefully put K.M. back in her crib, hitting her head pretty hard on the crib," plea agreement documents filed court state. "Mr. Marshall later admitted to his mother in a conversation regarding what happened with K.M. that he ‘murdered somebody.’ "
Moneypenny told the Salt Lake Tribune in 2012 that Marshall was good with the child, but that doctors later found cracked ribs and other injuries.
"He’s put his hands on me before," Moneypenny said then. "But I didn’t think he had the capacity of killing someone, especially a baby."
Marshall was initially charged with first-degree felony aggravated murder which, because prosecutors never sought the death penalty, was punishable by life without parole or 25 years to life in prison.
Marshall pleaded guilty in March to the lesser crime of first-degree felony murder.
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