A Tacoma man who shook his 8-month-old daughter so hard she suffered fatal injures pleaded guilty this morning and was sentenced to 18 years in prison.
Ivryee Flowers, 21, entered a guilty plea to second-degree murder in the December 2011 death of Leileah Flowers.
Defense attorney Mark Quigley and deputy prosecutor Lori Kooiman had recommended a sentence of 15 years for Flowers, but Pierce County Superior Court Judge James Orlando said that was not enough.
“There’s no degree of remorse that I’ve sensed from you that convinces me that you realize the enormity of what you’ve done,” Orlando told Flowers. “I think this child needs something more than 15 years in prison.”
The proceedings were disrupted for about 10 minutes after Flowers’ mother got into a shouting match with deputies who’d asked her to sit down during the hearing. Deputies finally forcibly removed her from court, and a number of Flowers’ supporters left with her.
Steve Harrington, Leileah’s great uncle, addressed the court once things settle down. Harrington said relatives on Leileah’s mother’s side of the family had only one question.
“Why?” Harrington asked Flowers. “You had all the support in the world to help you. The memories of this tragedy will last a lifetime.”
Flowers, who told police he shook the girl when she wouldn’t stop crying, apologized in court for her death.
“This was an accident,” he said. “I truly loved and still love my daughter. When I come home, I’ll do everything I can to make her proud of me.”