Tears and rage at sentencing for Ogden child killer

Wednesday , July 02, 2014 - 6:22 PM

Jeremy Marshall sentencing B

Jeremy Marshall was sentenced Wednesday for killing his girlfriend's infant daughter, Kennedy...

OGDEN — Jeremy Marshall was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison Wednesday for the murder of his girlfriend's infant daughter in 2011.

Marshall, 37, pleaded guilty in March to the murder of Kennedy Lucille "Baby K" Marshall, who died from violent shaking and a traumatic blow to her head on Dec. 14, 2011. Marshall was not Kennedy’s father, but was living in Ogden with her mother, Afton Moneypenny, at the time of the murder. Kennedy was 2 1/2 months old at the time.

Marshall's sentencing was wrought with emotion, including impassioned statements from Kennedy's mother, Afton Moneypenny, and Weber County Deputy Attorney Teral Tree. Moneypenny's family members in the audience held each other and cried quietly during the hearing.

Marshall, by contrast, was relatively stoic. He gave a brief apology, saying he was racked with guilt, but maintained Kennedy's injuries were accidental.

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"I just want to apologize. ... It was an accident," Marshall said. "Not a day goes by that I don't think about what happened and feel guilty about it."

Moneypenny's prepared statement, read by one of her family members at the hearing, disregarded Marshall's apology and expressed disgust for her daughter's killer.

"Jeremy Marshall, you are a monster," Moneypenny's statement was read aloud. "You had us all fooled, Jeremy. We all trusted you."

Moneypenny wanted Marshall to know he had taken away a life of promise.

"Baby K had a whole life to look forward to," her statement said. "You took away her life and what it could have been."

Moneypenny said she's been hospitalized 13 times in the past two years as she deals with the trauma of losing her child.

"What you did that cold December night will haunt me for the rest of my life," her statement said.

She condemned Marshall's violence by quoting the New Testament.

"It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones," reads the passage, attributed to Jesus.

Tree broke down in tears as he recalled working on Marshall's case with Weber County prosecutor Bill Daines, who passed away suddenly last year from a brain aneurysm. He was also emotional as he described the details of Kennedy's injuries to 2nd District Judge Scott Hadley.

"This kind of case, it affects you, no matter how long you live," Tree said. "This case has kept me up at night."

Kennedy was briefly put on life support at McKay-Dee Hospital for a severe brain injury on the day she died. Doctors determined she had also been suffering from various other bone breaks for some time. An autopsy determined the infant had been shaken severely and her head had made devastating impact with a hard surface.

"Somebody (had squeezed) her ribs ... to the point where here pliable little bones broke. ... All this happened in a two month period." Tree said. "She lived a life of pain."

Tree said Kennedy suffered more broken bones than he has, all in less than three months of life.

"She was real," he said, showing Hadley a photo of Kennedy on the medical examiner's table. "She was just 2 1/2 months old."

Marshall was initially facing a first degree felony aggravated murder charge, which would have carried a minimum prison sentence of 25 years, and possibly without any opportunity for parole. His plea deal in March dropped the "aggravated" qualifier, reducing the minimum to 15 years.

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