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Judge in Texas tells child killer Charles Phifer, he should ‘die in a locked closet’ as he sentences him to life without parole for beating his girlfriend’s daughter to death

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Leiliana Wright, four, was savagely beaten for drinking her brother’s  inside her Texas home in March 2016
She was then hung in a locked closet before she succumbed to multiple blunt force injuries to her head and stomach
On Wednesday, Charles Wayne Phifer, 36, received a life sentence in prison with State District Judge Robert Burns telling Phifer he ‘should die in a locked closet’
Phifer beat Leiliana to death with bamboo switch and left her in the closet to die
Leiliana’s mother Jeri Quezada, 33, faces up to 50 years in jail for role in death
Quezada, a convicted felon with a hustory of child abuse. on the day used heroin with Phifer, then asked about the child at time of her death
She told the court that Phifer responded saying the child was hung in the closet – Photos of Leiliana show her suffering from a black eye and bruises on her jaw
Robert Burns [right] and convicted child killer, Charles Wayne Phifer [left] 1.JPGTexas Judge Robert Burns [right], told convicted child killer, 36-year-old Charles Wayne Phifer [left], that ‘he should die in a locked closet’ for savagely beating four-year-old Leiliana Wright to death

A Texas judge told a convicted child killer that ‘he should die in a locked closet’ for savagely beating his girlfriend’s four-year-old daughter to death.
Leiliana Wright was severely beaten and ‘strung up’ by an array of belts in a closet in her Grand Prairie home as punishment when she died in March 2016.
She died suffering blunt force injuries to her head and stomach.
The mother of 4-year-old Leiliana Wright’s mother Jeri Quezada, pled guilty in July 2017 for the role she played in her daughter’s death.
Grand Prairie Police said Jeri Quezada and her ex-boyfriend, Charles Phifer, beat the four-year-old with a belt and a bamboo stick, then tied her up and threw her against a wall March 12, 2016, because she reportedly drank her brother’s juice. Leiliana Wright later died at the hospital.
Police said Quezada and Phifer were high on heroin that day. Both were arrested and charged in connection to Leiliana’s death.
On Wednesday, Charles Wayne Phifer, 36, received an automatic life sentence without the possibility of parole for the murder.
‘Hanging a little girl in a locked closet was savage. You should die in a locked closet,’ State District Judge Robert Burns told Phifer.
‘I think this is the worst case I’ve ever seen,’ Burns told Phifer.

Charles Wayne Phifer 2Charles Wayne Phifer, 36, received an automatic life sentence without the possibility of parole for the murder
Leiliana Wright 4.JPGLeiliana [photo], was beaten to death in her Texas home in March 2016. Her mother’s boyfriend Charles Wayne Phifer, 36, was convicted of beating her to death with a bamboo switch and holding her up by belts in a closet

According to Dallas News, the jurors deliberated for about four hours before delivering the guilty verdict.
Last week, gut-wrenching photos revealed the horrific abuse Leiliana suffered before she was beaten to death.
Her injuries so grisly, Grand Prairie police Sgt Brad Makovy claimed ‘it was the worst thing I’ve ever seen inflicted on a child’ as he testified at Phifer’s capital murder trial last Thursday.
Photographs showed the child with a black eye, a bruise on her cheek near her jaw, and in some shocking photos she can barely open one of her eyes, puffy from the abuse.
Leiliana was beaten to death in her Texas home in March 2016.
Phifer was convicted of beating her to death with a bamboo switch and holding her up by belts in a closet.
Defense attorneys had argued that Quezada is a liar who was trying to save herself by blaming Phifer for her daughter’s death.
“She set Charles up because that was the only way to get out of this,” Miller said.
Leiliana’s death exposed a staffing crisis in Child Protective Services. The girl’s paternal grandparents reported possible abuse to the state agency months before she was killed.
Quezada was a known drug user and had run-ins with child protection authorities in Texas and Illinois, where she received probation for hitting her stepson.
Quezada had five children, including Leiliana, with three different men. The surviving four children are living with relatives.
“Charles Phifer does not have any motive to hurt or do anything to this child,” defense attorney Steven Miller asked. “He’s living in a house rent free with no obligations. Why would he screw that up?”
“She’s [Quezada], the one who keeps having kids she doesn’t want,” he said.

Leiliana Wright 2.JPGPhotos of the Leiliana [L-R] show the horrific abuse she’s suffered over the years. A horrific history of abuse that includes at various times, a black eye, a puffy eye, and bruises on her jaw

An investigator who snapped photos of Leiliana’s body said nurses and officers were crying outside of the child’s hospital room ‘because she was severely beaten’.
In his testimony, Sergeant Makovy recalled how he interviewed the child’s mother Jeri Quezada, 33, who was hesitant to talk and faces 50 years in jail for her part in young Leiliana’s death.
Quezada will be formally sentenced by the judge Wednesday. Quezada testified against her former boyfriend last week.
She told the court that Phifer tied Leiliana up in the closet in a way so that she couldn’t sit down.
He then lifted her by the throat and threw her into the closet so forcefully it left an indentation. She said he did this because she refused to eat, according to NBCDFW.
Leiliana was reportedly sick and vomiting days prior to her death.

Charles Wayne Phifer [left], and Jeri Quezada [right] 1Leiliana’s mother Jeri Quezada [right], faces 50 years in jail for her part in her daughter’s death. Quezada will be formally sentenced by the judge Wednesday. She testified against Phifer [left] last week

Pictures of the crime scene shown to the jury displayed a bamboo switch that Phifer beat Leiliana to death with.
Her jeans were also displayed to the jury tangled up in three belts.
Quezada told police she left the child in her boyfriend’s care because she was frustrated and needed ‘a break’. She was out at dinner with her mother while Phifer was home with Leiliana.
She came home, she used heroin with Phifer, then asked about the child. Phifer responded saying the child was hung in the closet.
He put her there after he claimed she fell in the shower.
Quezada – who has a history of child abuse – allegedly previously told police that she kicked and slapped her daughter as discipline.
When questioned about it in court last week she said she couldn’t remember telling police such details.

Leiliana Wright 5.JPGLeiliana Wright [Photo], was home with her mother’s boyfriend Charles Phifer at the time of her death in March 2016. Her mother went to dinner, came home and took heroin, then asked about the child. Phifer said she was hung in the closet
Leiliana Wright 1.JPGThe child’s grandmother reported the abuse to child services in Texas. A caseworker came and neglected to perform a background check on the victim’s mother Jeri Quezada – a convicted felon with a history of child abuse – and allowed her continued custody of Leiliana and her younger brother

Jeri Quezada allegedly told police she would slap and kick Leiliana as discipline. When asked about that last week, she said she couldn’t remember telling police those details
Leiliana’s grandmother raised alarm about the child abuse to Child Protective Services sending in a photo of Leiliana with a black eye.
In February 2016 a caseworker went to the home and found Leiliana and her younger brother with Quezada and let her remain with the children.
The caseworker neglected to do a background check which would have shown that Quezada is a convicted felon with a history of child abuse that saw her lose custody of her three older children.
Quezada’s mother Adeline Carr also testified in court last week that she lived with her for a couple months before Leiliana’s death and described how skittish the child was.
‘At first, she was very frightened of every strange noise or loud noise,’ Carr said in court.
She described Leiliana as quiet and shy, who stared at things rather than speaking up and asking for them.
Carr said Quezada would tell Leiliana it was okay to come out of her bedroom after waking each morning, but the child would stay in her room unless instructed she could leave.
Quezada is awaiting sentencing after plead guilty to felony injury to a child in July 2017 and is testifying against Phifer last week as a part of a plea deal.

 

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